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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.


  • Half-time Student

    An enrolled student who is carrying a half-time academic workload, as determined by the institution, that amounts to at least half of the workload of the applicable minimum requirement outlined in the definition of a full-time student, except that a student enrolled solely in a program of study by correspondence must be carrying a workload of at least 12 hours of work per week, or is earning at least six credit hours per semester, trimester, or quarter. Note that regardless of the work, no student enrolled solely in correspondence study is considered more than a half-time student.
  • Handicapped Children

    Children ages 3 through 21, inclusive, who require special education and related services because they are
    • mentally retarded,

    • hard of hearing,

    • deaf,

    • speech and language impaired,

    • visually handicapped,

    • seriously emotionally disturbed,

    • orthopedically impaired,

    • specific learning disabled, or

    • otherwise health impaired.

  • Hardship Payment Reduction

    In the Perkins Program, lowering a borrower's scheduled payments, for up to one year at a time, if the borrower is scheduled to pay the $40 minimum monthly payment and the school determines that the borrower is unable to make the scheduled payments due to hardship, such as prolonged illness or unemployment.
  • Hate crime

    A crime reported to local police agencies or to a campus security authority that shows evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator's bias against the victim. In their recording, schools must identify the actual or perceived category of the victim that motivated the crime. The categories are: race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability.
  • HBCU

    Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • HCM

    Heightened Cash Monitoring
  • HCM1

    Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 Payment Method
  • HCM2

    Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 Payment Method
  • HEA

    Higher Education Act
  • Header

    A crossover term funded out of the upcoming award year. See also Trailer.
  • HEAL

    Health Education Assistance Loan Program
  • Heightened Cash Monitoring

    There are two payment methods (Cash Monitoring and Reimbursement) and three levels of heightened cash monitoring— Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 (HCM1), Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 (HCM2), and Reimbursement through which the Department more closely monitors the expenditure of federal funds by schools whose policies and procedures have been called into question.
  • High-Need Field (in the TEACH Program)

    Any field documented as high-need by the federal government, a state government, or a local education agency (LEA), and approved by the Department and listed in the Department's annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List) in accordance with 34 CFR 682.210(q).
  • High-Risk Children

    Individuals under the age of 21 who are low-income or at risk of abuse or neglect, have been abused or neglected, have serious emotional, mental, or behavioral disturbances, reside in placements outside their homes, or are involved in the juvenile justice system.
  • Higher Education Act (HEA)

    Federal legislation passed in 1965, with amendments and reauthorizations subsequently passed, authorizing federal postsecondary student financial aid programs and mandating that the programs be regulated and administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Holder

    See Loan Holder.
  • Home School

    Under a consortium or contractual agreement, the school where a student is enrolled in a degree or certificate program.
  • Host School

    The school where students are taking part of their program requirements through either a consortium or contractual agreement.
  • Household Size

    See Family Size. Household size is the term used in the EFC calculation, and in verification.
  • HSI

    Hispanic-Serving Institution
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