Students walking into 1 Pace Plaza in NYC.

Terms To Know

Talk the Talk: Financial Aid Terms to Know

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students and their families can receive money from the U.S. government to fund their education by filing out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Based on factors such as parental income, the results of the FAFSA help determine how much money a student can be granted or may borrow for their college education. Visit the FAFSA website here.

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The Tuition Assistance Program is a grant provided through New York State to students who are: legal U.S. residents, residents of New York State, and attend college in New York State. Visit their website here.


Similar to scholarships, grants are provided to students for various reasons such as financial need, academic achievement, or both. Grants are available through Pace University, the U.S. Department of Education, and some states, and do not need to be repaid.


Pace offers various scholarships to students based on a number of factors: financial need, academic achievement, community involvement, and areas of study. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. Learn more about scholarships offered by Pace University.


College loans can be acquired either through the U.S. Department of Education or private lenders. Loans must be paid back—and often accrue interest while a student or parent pays back the loans. Interest rates and repayment terms vary per loan. Learn more about Student Loans.


Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans are available to qualified students with subsidized interest, meaning the federal government pays the interest on the loan while a student is in college. So, no payments need to be paid until the student stops attending at least half-time. The government does not pay any other portion of the loan during or after college, and the loan begins collecting interest following a six- or nine- month "grace period" after the student stops attending at least half-time (6 credits per semester).


Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans are also available to students if they require additional money beyond what grants, scholarships, or subsidized loans cover. These loans will accrue interest while a student is in school. It is recommended that students pay the accruing interest while they are in school; otherwise the interest is capitalized on the loan. Capitalizing means that the interest is added to the principle amount of the loan and then interest accrues on that amount also.


Students may choose to postpone their loan repayment period; doing so is called deferring your loans. During a "grace period" after graduation, many lenders (both private and public) will allow you to postpone loan repayment.

Interest Rate

Because lenders give students the ability to borrow sums of money, they charge interest on the amount of the loan up until the time that money is repaid. An interest rate is the percentage of the total amount borrowed that a lender charges a borrower for the loan. Interest rates are determined by a number of factors, and there are different interest rates for each type of loan. Some loans have fixed interest rates and some are variable.

Private Lender

A private lender could be a bank, credit union, or another financial institution. A private lender is not affiliated with a university or the government.

Cost Of Attendance (COA)

The cost of attendance is an estimate of how much money will be required to attend Pace University for the year that the student is enrolled (this includes all direct and indirect costs).

  • Estimated Direct costs for the year include – tuition, fees, and Room & Board. These are expenses you will need to pay directly to Pace University.
  • Estimated Indirect costs for the year include: books, transportation, personal expenses and living allowance. These are expenses that can vary and will be unique to your personal and academic decisions.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Your Expected Family Contribution or EFC is a measure of your family’s financial situation. Your EFC is determined by a Federal formula that is calculated using the information you provided about your family’s circumstances on the FAFSA.

Financial Need

Financial need determines your eligibility for many types of aid. Financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance at a university or college and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated according to the federal Need Analysis Formula. The Cost of Attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board (meals), transportation, books, and personal expenses.

The Financial Need formula is: Cost of Education – EFC = Financial Need

Award Letter

A letter sent to students by the Pace University Financial Aid Office, listing and describing the funds, if any, for which they qualify.