Glossary beginning with S

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to continue to receive financial aid. Students must maintain a certain qualitative standard (i.e. cumulative GPA) in addition to maintaining a quantitative standard (i.e. successfully completing a required number of credit hours). Students must also complete their degree or certificate program within a maximum timeframe, which may vary according to the student’s status and program. If a student does not maintain the required standards, the student may lose their financial aid eligibility.


A scholarship is a form of financial aid given to students to help pay for their education. Most scholarships are restricted to paying all or part of tuition expenses, though some scholarships also cover room and board. Scholarships are a form of gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Many scholarships are restricted to students in specific courses of study or with academic, athletic, or artistic talent.

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I)

The SAT is one of the two national standardized college entrance examinations used in the US. The other is the ACT. The SAT was previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and is administered by the Educational Testing Service. Most universities require either the ACT or the SAT as part of an application for admission.

Secondary Market

A secondary market is an organization that buys loans from lenders, thereby providing the lender with the capital to issue new loans. Selling loans is a common practice among lenders, so the bank you make your payments to may change during the life of the loan. The terms and conditions of your loan do not change when it is sold to another holder. Sallie Mae is the nation's largest secondary market and holds approximately one third of all educational loans.

Secured Loan

A secured loan is backed by collateral. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender may seize the collateral and sell it to repay the loan. Auto loans and home mortgages are examples of secured loans. Educational loans are generally not secured.

Selective Service

The Selective Service Administration executes registration for the military draft. Male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 and were born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Self Help Aid

Self help aid is financial aid in the form of loans and student employment.

Service Academy

The US Air Force Academy, US Coast Guard Academy, US Merchant Marine Academy, US Military Academy, and US Naval Academy. Admissions is highly selective, as students must be nominated by their Congressional Representative in order to apply.


A servicer is an organization that collects payments on a loan and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a loan portfolio. Loan servicers disburse loans funds, monitor loans while the borrowers are in school, collect payments, process deferments and forbearances, respond to borrower inquiries, and ensure that the loans are administered in compliance with federal regulations and guarantee agency requirements. EduServ is the largest private servicer of student loans in the US.

Short Term Loan (STL)

UNT students may apply for a Short Term Loan (STL) during certain periods of each semester to assist them in paying for tuition and fees. Short Term Loans are offered through Student Accounting. In addition, a good repayment history is imperative for previous borrowers.

Simple Interest

Simple interest is interest that is paid only on the principal balance of the loan and not on any accrued interest. Most federal student loan programs offer simple interest. Note, however, that capitalizing the interest on an unsubsidized Stafford loan is a form of compounded interest.

Simplified Needs Test

If the parents have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000 and every family member was eligible to file an IRS Form 1040A or 1040EZ (or was not required to file a Federal income tax return), the Federal Methodology ignores assets when computing the EFC. If a student filed a 1040 but was not required to do so, they may be eligible for the simplified needs test. Details on the eligibility requirements appear on the Simplified Needs Test Chart.

Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans are federal loans that come in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on need; unsubsidized loans are not. The interest on the subsidized Stafford Loan is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the 6 month grace period. The Subsidized Stafford Loan was formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL). The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be used to pay the EFC. Undergraduates may borrow up to $23,000 ($2,625 during the freshman year, $3,500 during the sophomore year, and $5,500 during the third, fourth, and fifth years) and graduate students up to $65,500 including any undergraduate Stafford loans ($8,500 per year). These limits are for subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined. The difference between the subsidized loan amount and the limit may be borrowed by the student as an unsubsidized loan. Higher unsubsidized Stafford loan limits are available to independent students, dependent students whose parents were unable to obtain a PLUS Loan, and graduate/professional students. Undergraduates may borrow up to $46,000 ($6,625 during the freshman year, $7,500 during the sophomore year, and $10,500 during each subsequent year) and graduate students up to $138,500 including any undergraduate Stafford loans ($18,500 per year). These limits are for subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined. The amounts of any subsidized loans are still subject to the lower limits.

State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG)

The State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG) program is a state-run financial aid program for state residents. The states receive matching funds from the Federal government to help them fund the program.

Student Accounting & University Cashiering Services

Student Accounting & University Cashiering Services is the university office that is responsible for the billing and collection of university charges.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

The Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizes the information included in the FAFSA. The SAR will also indicate Pell Grant eligibility, if any, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The student will receive a copy of your SAR four to six weeks after the FAFSA has been filed. The student should review the SAR and correct any errors on part 2. If the Processor was able to calculate an EFC, the student will be able to submit the SAR to the FAO for corrections (in most cases). If an EFC was not calculated, the student will need to send the corrections to the Processor. It is advised that the student keep a photocopy of the SAR for their records. To request a duplicate copy of a SAR, the student would need to call 1-800-433-3243.

Student Contribution

The Student Contribution (SC) is the amount of money the federal government expects the student to contribute to his or her education and is included as part of the EFC. The SC depends on the student's income and assets, but can vary from school to school.

Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae)

Sallie Mae, formerly known as the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA), is the nation's largest secondary market and holds approximately one third of all educational loans.

Subsidized Loan

With a subsidized loan, such as the Perkins Loan or the Subsidized Stafford Loan, the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school, during the six-month grace period, and during any deferment periods. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need and may not be used to finance the family contribution. See "Stafford" Loans for information about subsidized Stafford Loans. See also Unsubsidized Loan.

Summer Leader

For summer leader schools, the award year begins with the summer semesters.

Summer Trailer

For summer trailer schools, the award year ends with the summer semesters. UNT is a summer trailer school.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. SEOG grants are awarded by the school's financial aid office, and provide up to $4,000 per year. The maximum award at UNT is $1000. To qualify, a student must also be a recipient of a Pell Grant.

Supplemental Loan for Students (SLS)

Supplemental Loan for Students (SLS) are federal loans for financially independent students. This program was eliminated in 1994 with the creation of the unsubsidized Stafford Loan program.