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Tiger Tracks: Financial Literacy

A collaboration between GC Academic Success & the Ensor LRC.

Office of Student Financial Planning

Student Financial Planning

Provides assistance with the process of financing your education from start to finish, including:

  • Scholarships
  • Federal and state grants
  • Student loans
  • Military benefits
  • Financial Planning

Student Financial Planning Staff

Bob Fultz
Director of Student Financial Planning
Contact: (502) 863-8029

Hannah Mullins
Assistant Director of Student Financial Planning
Contact: (502) 863-8033

Lauren Frye
Graduate Financial Aid Counselor
Contact: (502) 863-7923

Jarrod Lopez
Financial Aid Counselor
Contact: (502) 863-8028


Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

Many of these definitions come from the Federal Department of Education; more information can be found at

  • Award amount: Amount of aid a school expects to pay a student based on the student’s current grant and loan eligibility, enrollment, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the school's cost of attendance. 
  • Cost of attendance (COA): The total amount it will cost you to go to school, including tuition and fees; room and board (or a housing and food allowance); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care.
  • Disbursement: Payment of federal student aid funds to the borrower by the school. Students generally receive their federal student aid in two or more disbursements.
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is the number that’s used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA form, the application for federal student aid. Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Federal student aid: Financial aid from the federal government to help you pay for education expenses at an eligible college or career school. Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal student aid. You must complete the FAFSA form to apply for this aid.
  • Federal work-study: A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses.
  • Financial need: The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend. 
  • Master Promissory Note: A binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. The MPN can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.  It’s important to read and save your MPN because you’ll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances.
  • Net price: An estimate of the actual cost that a student and his family need to pay in a given year to cover education expenses for the student to attend a particular school.  Net price is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible.
  • PLUS loan: A loan available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.
  • Private loan: A nonfederal loan made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school.
  • Scholarship: Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses.  Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid. 
  • Subsidized loan: A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income-driven repayment plans.
  • Unsubsidized loan: A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.
  • Verification: The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.

Helpful Student Loan Resources

There are several online resources available to help students make sense of their financial aid package. Check out the links below to learn more about various aspects of the financial aid process.

The Student Loan Repayment Amount Estimator:

The Estimated Family Contribution Calculator:

Financial Aid 101: