Glossary beginning with P

Probation Period (for Satisfactory Academic Progress)

See Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Packaging is the process of assembling a financial aid package.

Parent Contribution

The Parent Contribution (PC) is an estimate of the portion of the student's educational expenses that the parents are expected to contribute. It is based on their income, the number of parents earning income, assets, family size, the number of family members currently attending a university, and other relevant factors. Students who qualify as independent are not expected to have a parent contribution.

Pell Grant

The Pell grant is a federal grant that provides funds based on the student's financial need.

Perkins Loan

Formerly the National Direct Student Loan Program, the Perkins Loan allows students to borrow up to $4,000/year for undergraduate school and $6,000/year for graduate school. The Perkins Loan has one of the lowest interest rates and is awarded to students with exceptional financial need. The student must have applied for a Pell Grant to be eligible. The interest on the Perkins Loan is subsidized while the student is in school. At UNT, graduate students are given first priority for Perkins funding.


One of several degrees granted by graduate schools.

PLUS Loans

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are federal loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help finance the child's education. Parents may borrow up to the full cost of their children's education less the amount of any other financial aid received. PLUS Loans may be used to pay the EFC. There is a minimal credit check required for the PLUS loan, so a good credit history is required. Students are advised to check with their local bank to see if they participate in the PLUS loan program. If the application for a PLUS loan is turned down, the student may be eligible to borrow additional money under the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program.


Paying off all or part of a loan before it is due.


The principal is the amount of money borrowed or remaining unpaid on a loan. Interest is charged as a percentage of the principal. Insurance and origination fees will be deducted from this amount before disbursement.

Professional Judgment

For need-based federal aid programs, the financial aid counselor (or administrator) can adjust the EFC, adjust the COA, or change the dependency status (with documentation) when extenuating circumstances exist. For example, if a parent becomes unemployed, disabled, or deceased, the FAA can decide to use estimated income information for the award year instead of the actual income figures from the base year. This delegation of authority from the federal government to the financial aid counselor or administrator is called Professional Judgment (PJ).

Professional Student

A student pursuing advanced study in law or medicine, education, pharmacy, or dentistry.

Promissory Note

The promissory note is the binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The student should keep this document until the loan has been acknowledged by the lender as paid in full.