Financial Aid Terms

Academic Year

The nine months a student is enrolled–two semesters, usually August through May

Direct Costs

Charges billed by the university: tuition, room and board, and fees.


Expected Family Contribution, calculated by the federal methodology using information you provided on the FAFSA.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Family Responsibility

The difference between direct charges and the assistance you have been offered (excluding the Federal Work-Study Program).

Financial Need

The difference between the total cost of education and the expected family contribution as calculated by the federal methodology based on the data you provided on the FAFSA.

Indirect Costs

Living expenses incurred by the student while attending school: books, transportation and personal expenses.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

A linking tool within the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that may be used to retrieve your federal tax information directly from the IRS and transfer the information directly into your FAFSA. To take advantage of this option, electronic tax filers must wait at least 2-3 weeks prior to using this option and paper tax filers must wait at least 8-11 weeks. Exceptions: Students who are married as well as parents of dependent students who are married but file federal taxes separately from their spouse.

Merit and Talent Awards

Awards based on academic achievement or performance ability.

Need-based Assistance

Awards based on the expression of financial need.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

An assigned number given to you by the U.S. Department of Education that serves as your electronic signature for the FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA on the Web.  The PIN also can be used to access your student aid history, to correct your FAFSA data online, and perform federal loan and grant-related tasks (i.e. sign Master Promissory Notes, complete loan counseling, complete TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay, complete TEACH Grant counseling).


Loans and student employment opportunities.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Document sent to the student by the central processor to report the results of filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You will be notified via e-mail when the SAR may be accessed online.

Total Cost of Education

All expenses involved in attending college for an academic year: tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.


University of Indianapolis Financial Aid Application.

Verification Documents

Federal tax return transcripts, a verification worksheet, and other forms used to verify the financial data reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).