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Help - Glossary

The following glossary listing contains definitions/descriptions of terms that are related to Federal student aid Title IV programs and/or acronyms..

The terms are listed according to alphabetical order. You can select the All link to view a listing of all of the glossary terms, or you may select the letter equal to the first letter of the term.


  • EA

    Enterprise Architecture
  • EA

    Electronic Announcement
  • E-App

    Electronic Application to Participate (in the Federal Student Aid Programs)
  • Early Disbursement

    A disbursement of federal student aid made to a student up to 10 days before the first day of classes for a payment period or period of enrollment, as applicable.
  • Early Intervention Services

    Those services defined in section 632(4) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that are provided to infants and toddlers with disabilities.
  • Earned

    In cash accounting, an item is "earned" and reported as revenue when cash is received. Under accrual accounting an item has been "earned" and is reported as revenue when a service has been performed or product delivered, not when cash is received.
  • ECAR

    Eligibility and Certification Approval Report
  • eCB

    electronic Campus-Based system
    The eCB System was retired on March 26, 2018.
  • eCDR

    Electronic Cohort Default Rate
  • eCFR

    Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
  • ED

    United States Department of Education

    Education Central Automated Processing System
  • ED Pubs

    The website where customers can order hard copies of Department publications and download an electronic copy in Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • EDE

    Electronic Data Exchange
  • EDExpress

    A PC application that processes, packages, and manages FSA records. FSA provides EDExpress free of charge to postsecondary schools that participate in its Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) process.

    Education Department General Administrative Regulations
  • Edit Codes

    These codes communicate unique messages from the COD System when a school's reported student data is found to be in error or inconsistent with related data.
  • Edit Only Record

    In the COD process, a record sent with anticipated disbursement information for editing purposes only. Edit Only Records may originate an award, but are not intended to request or report funds. Schools using the Common Record submit a record with the Disbursement Release Indicator set to False.
  • EDP

    Electronic Data Processing

    Department of Education Federal Student Aid Network
  • Education Central Automated Processing System (EDCAPS)

    Department of Education system that integrates the Department's financial processes, including financial management, contracts and purchasing, grants administration, and payment management. EDCAPS integrates four formerly separate system modules into a single system consisting of
    • Financial Management Systems Software;

    • Travel Management;

    • Contracts and Purchasing Support System; and

    • Grant Management System (G5).

  • Education Loan

    Any of the following:
    • any loan made, insured, or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program;

    • any loan made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program; or

    • a private education loan.

  • Educational Program

    A legally authorized postsecondary program of organized instruction or study that leads to an academic, professional, or vocational degree, or certificate, or other recognized educational credential, or is a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program.
  • Educational Service Agency

    A regional public multi-service agency authorized by state law to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  • EEBC

    Employee Enterprise Business Collaboration
  • EFA

    Estimated Financial Assistance
  • EFC

    Expected Family Contribution
  • Effective Internal Control

    Reasonable assurance that operational objectives are achieved, that published financial statements are reliably prepared, and that the entity complies with applicable laws and regulations.
  • EFT

    Electronic Funds Transfer (see also ACH/EFT)
  • EIC

    Earned Income Credit
  • EIN

    Employer Identification Number
  • Electronic Data Exchange (EDE)

    An electronic exchange system between the central processor and an institution under which
    • a student is able to transmit his or her application information to the central processor through his or her institution and an ISIR is transmitted back to the institution;

    • a student through his or her institution is able to transmit any changes in application information to the central processor; and

    • an institution is able to receive an ISIR from the central processor for a student.

  • Electronic Data Request (in COD)

    A file sent by a school to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system containing a request for information. A school can receive reconciliation files, multiple reporting records, year-to-date (YTD) data, electronic statements of account (ESOA) data, Potential Overaward Process (POP) reports, and/ or verification status reports.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (in general use)

    Generic term describing any transfer of funds between parties or depository institutions through electronic data systems.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (in cash management)

    A transaction initiated electronically instructing the crediting or debiting of a financial account, or an institution's depository account. For purposes of transactions initiated by the Department, the term ''EFT'' includes all transactions covered by 31 CFR 208.2(f). For purposes of transactions initiated by or on behalf of an institution, the term ''EFT'' includes, from among the transactions covered by 31 CFR 208.2(f), only Automated Clearinghouse transactions.
  • Electronic Processes

    The connections that schools are required to make to various Department websites (e.g., the COD website) to be in compliance with administrative capability requirements.
  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act)

    Enacted on June 30, 2000, the E-Sign Act provides, in part, that a signature, contract or other record relating to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form, or because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation. Voluntary consent to participate in electronic transactions is required for all financial information provided or made available to student loan borrowers, and for all notices and authorizations to FSA recipients required under 34 CFR 668.165.
  • Electronic Statement of Account (ESOA)

    An official statement from ED that sets a school's authorization level for the upcoming award year and projects adjustments to the school's FSA program funding needs. It summarizes the status of a school's Current Funding Level (CFL) as it compares to the net drawdowns for the award year. An ESOA also details the amount expended to date. ESOAs are produced for the Federal Pell Grant Program. ED produces an ESOA whenever there is an adjustment to a school's current FSA program authorization.
  • Elementary School

    A nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under State law.
  • Eligible Applicant

    A student in an approved course of study who has submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meets the eligibility requirements for Title IV financial aid. The student must be currently enrolled or be a prospective student at a postsecondary school which is eligible to participate in the Title IV programs.
  • Eligible Career Pathway Program

    A program that—

    1. concurrently enrolls participants in connected adult education and eligible postsecondary programs;

    2. provides counseling and supportive services to identify and attain academic and career goals;

    3. provides structured course sequences that

      • are articulated and contextualized; and

      • allow students to advance to higher levels of education and employment;

    4. provides opportunities for acceleration to attain recognized postsecondary credentials, including degrees, industry relevant certifications, and certificates of completion of apprenticeship programs;

    5. is organized to meet the needs of adults;

    6. is aligned with the education and skill needs of the regional economy; and

    7. has been developed and implemented in collaboration with partners in business, workforce development, and economic development. PL 113–235—Dec. 16, 2014. HEA 484D

  • Eligible Institution

    An institution that qualifies as
    • an institution of higher education, as defined in 34 CFR 600.4;

    • a proprietary institution of higher education, as defined in § 600.5; or

    • a postsecondary vocational institution, as
      defined in § 600.6; and

    • meets all the other applicable provisions of § 600.

  • Eligible Noncitizen

    An immigration status that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 668.33(a)(2). That is, a student who is not a U.S. citizen, but is still potentially eligible to receive at least one type of Title IV aid. Types of eligible noncitizens include: lawful permanent residents, conditional resident aliens, refugees, persons granted asylum, persons paroled into the U.S. for at least one year, Cuban-Haitian entrants, conditional entrants, victims of human trafficking, battered immigrants-qualified aliens, students of the Freely Associated States, and Jay treaty students. Not all types of eligible noncitizen are eligible to receive all types of Title IV aid.
  • Eligible Nonparticipating School

    A school that chooses to establish eligibility for the FSA programs but not to participate in them. Designation as an eligible institution qualifies a school or its students to take advantage of non-FSA programs or benefits, such as the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits and qualifies its students for deferments of federal student loans.
  • Eligible Postbaccalaureate Program

    A postbaccalaureate academic program in teacher certification that is Pell-Grant-eligible. A student may receive a Pell Grant for enrollment in such a program, if
    • the program does not lead to a graduate degree;

    • the school offering the program does not also offer a bachelor's degree in education;

    • the student is pursuing an initial teacher certification or licensing credential within a state; and

    • the program consists of the courses required by a state to receive a professional certification or licensing credential necessary for employment as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school in that state.

  • Eligible Program

    An educational program that is provided by a participating institution and meets the requirements in 34 CFR 668.8(c) and (d) for participating in the FSA programs. For a detailed explanation of an Eligible Program see the Higher Education Act, as amended, Part F, Section 481(b).
  • Eligible Student

    A regular student enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, in an eligible program at an eligible institution, who meets the general and program requirements in 34 CFR 668.32 and 668.38, the citizenship requirements in 34 CFR 668.33, and satisfactory academic progress requirements in 34 CFR 668.34, who is not in default of a debt to the department under the HEA, and not in violation of the prohibitions of 34 CFR 668.40. Male students who are 18, or are above the age of 18, must be registered with the Selective Service to be eligible. For a detailed explanation of Student Eligibility see the Higher Education Act, as amended, Part F, Section 484.
  • Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR)

    A summary of an institution's eligibility/certification information (Title IV program participation, institution's accreditor, state authorization, staff, additional locations and eligible vocational programs).
  • Eligibility Used (Pell)

    A percentage calculated by summing all of the accepted actual disbursement records for a student at the attended institution in a award year and dividing that amount by the Scheduled Federal Pell Grant Award at the attended institution.
  • Emancipated Minor

    A person who has not reached the age of majority but is released from control of his or her parent or guardian, as adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction in the state of the student's legal residence at the time of the adjudication.
  • Emergency Action

    Action taken by the Department to suspend a school's or third-party's participation in the Title IV programs if the Department:
    • receives reliable information that the school or third-party servicer is in violation of applicable laws, regulations, special arrangements, agreements, or limitations entered into under the authority of statutes applicable to Title IV of the HEA;

    • determines that immediate action is necessary to prevent the likelihood of substantial losses by the federal government, parent borrowers, or students; and

    • determines that the likelihood of loss exceeds the importance of following the procedures for limitation, suspension, or termination.

  • Emergency Response and Evacuation Plan

    The procedures a school must develop for emergency response and evacuation and of which it must include a description in its annual security report to the campus community. A school must develop procedures to immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Identifying number issued by the IRS to businesses for tax filing purposes. The EIN preceded by the letters "ED" is the password for accessing the Electronic Application (E-App) that schools use to apply for and update institutional FSA eligibility.
  • eMPN

    Electronic Master Promissory Note
  • Endorser

    An individual who agrees to repay a Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower does not repay the loan.
  • Endowed Fund

    Usually a permanently restricted asset for which the principal portion must be retained indefinitely. The earnings from an endowed fund could be unrestricted or temporarily restricted.
  • English Language Acquisition

    The process of acquiring English as a second language.
  • Enrolled

    The status of a student who has
    • completed the registration requirements (except for the payment of tuition and fees) at the institution that he or she is attending; or

    • been admitted into an educational program offered predominantly by correspondence and has submitted one lesson, completed by him or her after acceptance for enrollment, and without the help of a representative of the institution.

  • Enrollment Date

    The earliest date a student was enrolled in an eligible program for the designated award year.
  • Enrollment Reporting (in NSLDS)

    The process used by schools to report student enrollment data to the Department. Enrollment reporting can occur online in real time, or through file exchange using SAIG.
  • Enrollment Reporting Profile (in NSLDS)

    A webpage that displays information about the school for the enrollment reporting process. The page displays the set up for organizations that report or receive enrollment status information about students receiving federal student aid. The Profile includes file preferences, administrator relationships for school locations sharing the same OPEID, and the reporting schedule one year into the future and six months into the past.
  • Enrollment School Code

    The 8 digit code (Office of Postsecondary Education Identification Number {OPE ID}) for the physical location where the student is attending classes that is reported in the COD disbursement record to ensure a student is listed on the correct NSLDS Enrollment Roster.
  • Enrollment Status

    Full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, or less-than-half-time, depending on a student's credit-hour work load per academic term, at an institution using semesters, trimesters, quarters, or other academic terms and measuring progress by credit hours. All levels are relative to full time. At an institution using clock hours, 24 hours a week is full time and 12 hours a week is half-time.
  • Entitlement Program

    A program in which the federal government becomes automatically obligated to provide benefits to members of a specific group who meet the requirements mandated by law. Entitlement Program outlays are not controlled by annual appropriation acts (compare to Discretionary Program).
  • Entity Identifier

    On the Common Record, the unique routing identifier for each data exchange partner (e.g., school, third-party servicer, vendor, etc.). When performing entity searches via COD website, the Entity ID is the school's COD identifier, Pell ID, Direct Loan ID or OPE ID.
  • Entrance Counseling

    Information about loan terms and conditions, along with debt management strategies, that first-time student borrowers are required to receive before they may receive their first Direct Loan disbursement. Entrance Counseling is available on
  • Equipment

    Tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000.
  • Equity Ratio

    A measure of a school's capital resources and its ability to borrow, used when calculating the composite score. The equity ratio is expressed as a fraction with the modified equity as the numerator and the modified expenses as the denominator.
  • Equivalent of an Associate Degree

    An associate degree, or the successful completion of at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree and qualifies a student for admission into the third year of a bachelor's degree program.

    Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1301-1461
  • ESAR

    Electronic Student Aid Report
  • Escheat

    The reversion of funds to an unintended Third-Party, (e.g., when a FSA credit balance check to a student is not cashed, and the funds remain in the school's account or are transferred to the state's escheatment account). Schools must have a process to ensure that FSA program funds never escheat to the state or any other third party.
  • ESL Program

    English as a Second Language program. Students enrolled in a program consisting solely of ESL instruction are eligible for FSA funds only from the Pell Grant program.
  • ESI

    Experimental Sites Initiative authorized by Section 487A of the Higher Education Act.
  • E-SIGN

    Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
  • ESL

    English as Second Language
  • ESOA

    Electronic Statement of Account
  • Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA)

    Funds that must be considered during the Title IV aid packaging process. EFA includes aid received from Title IV programs (exception: Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant), as well all other as grants, scholarships, loans and need-based employment that can be anticipated at the time a school is packaging aid for a student. The student's packaged Title IV aid plus EFA may not exceed a student's need.
  • Excess Cash

    Any amount of federal student aid funds, other than Federal Perkins Loan Program funds, that an institution does not disburse to students or parents by the end of the third business day following the date the institution
    • received those funds from the Department; or

    • deposited or transferred to its federal account previously disbursed federal student aid program funds received from the Department, such as those resulting from award adjustments, recoveries, or cancellations.

  • Excess Liquid Capital (in Perkins)

    The amount by which the funds a school has available (cash on hand plus anticipated collections) to make Perkins loans in an award year significantly exceeds the loans a school anticipates making for that award year.
  • Exit Counseling

    Information about loan terms and conditions, with emphasis on repayment requirements and debt management strategies, that each school participating in the federal education loan programs must ensure is provided to student borrowers. For Perkins Loan borrowers, the counseling must take place before the borrower leaves school, or as soon as possible after the school becomes aware that the borrower is no longer attending classes. For Direct Loan and FFEL student borrowers, the counseling must take place shortly before the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time, or as soon as possible after the school becomes aware that the borrower is no longer enrolled half time.
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    The amount a student and the student's family may be reasonably expected to contribute toward the student's postsecondary education for the academic year.
  • Expedited Determination Letter (EDL)

    Fast-track versions of the preliminary report and final determination letter to the institution regarding findings identified during a program review. Used only under conditions described in the procedures.
  • Expired Appropriations or Accounts

    Appropriation accounts in which the balances are no longer available for incurring new obligations because the time available for incurring such obligations has passed.
  • Extended Processing (Direct Loan)

    The Direct Loan Program provides relief from close-out processing deadlines for extenuating circumstances. An institution may request extended processing if it is unable to meet the processing deadline (also known as Closeout Deadline). The Department grants extended processing due to either an event such as a natural disaster, or a processing error.
  • Extended Processing (Pell Grant)

    The Federal Pell Grant Program provides relief from processing deadlines in extenuating circumstances. A school may request administrative relief when it is unable to meet the September 30th deadline for submitting records, due to either an event, such as a natural disaster, or a processing error.
  • eZ Audit

    A web application designed by the U.S. Department of Education that provides schools with a paperless, single point of submission, for financial statements and compliance audits required by Title IV participants.
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