Glossary beginning with E


EDE (Electronic Data Exchange) and EDExpress are programs used by participating schools to electronically receive SARs from the federal processor. At some schools EDE allows students to electronically file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Educational Testing Service (ETS)

ETS is the company that produces and administers the SAT and other educational achievement tests.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

is used by some schools and Stafford Loan lenders to wire funds for Stafford loans directly to participating schools without requiring an intermediate check for the student to endorse. The money is transferred electronically instead of using paper, and hence is available to the student sooner. Students are advised to use EFT.

Electronic Student Aid Report (ESAR)

An Electronic Student Aid Report (ESAR) is an electronic form of the Student Aid Report.

Eligible Non-Citizen

Someone who is not a US citizen but is nevertheless eligible for Federal student aid. Eligible non-citizens include US permanent residents who are holders of valid green cards, US nationals, holders of form I-94 who have been granted refugee or asylum status, and certain other non-citizens. Non-citizens who hold a student visa or an exchange visitor visa are not eligible for Federal student aid.


If a student was an emancipated minor before they reached the age of being an adult in their state of legal residence, the student would be considered independent when completing the FAFSA. The student may be asked to submit a copy of the court’s decision to document their status.

Endowment Funds

owned by an institution and invested to produce income to support the operation of the institution. Many educational institutions use a portion of their endowment income for financial aid. A school with a larger ratio of endowment per student is more likely to give larger financial aid packages.

Enrollment Status

An indication of whether a student is a full-time or part-time student. Generally, students must be enrolled at least half-time (and in some cases full-time) to qualify for financial aid.


Entitlement programs award funds to ALL qualified applicants. The Pell Grant is an example of such a program.

Entrance Interview

See Loan Interviews


Equity is the dollar value of a person's ownership in a piece of property. For example, the student's home equity is the current market value of the home less the mortgage's remaining unpaid principal.

Exit Interview

See Loan Interviews

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money that the family is expected to be able to contribute toward the student's education as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula. The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need, and is used in determining the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. If there are unusual financial circumstances, such as high medical expenses, loss of employment, or death of a parent, that may affect your ability to pay for your education, the student needs to tell their financial aid administrator (FAA). He or she can adjust the COA or EFC to compensate.