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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.


  • Major Disaster

    Any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, land¬slide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which, in the determination of the President, causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance to supplement the efforts and available resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
  • Management Decision

    Evaluation by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity of the audit findings and corrective action plan and the issuance of a written decision to the auditee as to what corrective action is necessary.
  • Mandatory Forbearance (or Mandatory Administrative Forbearance)

    Forbearance a lender is required to grant because a borrower satisfies criteria such as military or domestic service, residence in a designated disaster area, changes in certain repayment plans, and medical and dental residency. The Direct Loan and Perkins loan program have different qualifying requirements.
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)

    A promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). An MPN lists the terms and conditions under which the borrower agrees to repay the loan and explains the borrowers rights and responsibilities.
  • Matching

    In the Campus-Based Programs, with certain exceptions, schools that participate in the Campus-Based Programs must provide nonfederal funds as a match for the federal funds they receive. The specific matching requirements for each Campus-Based Program are different. The institutional matches are known as the institutional nonfederal share in the FWS and FSEOG programs and the institutional capital contribution in the Perkins Program.
  • Material Weaknesses (in financial reporting)

    Reportable condition or combination of reportable conditions, that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of the financial statements, or other significant financial reports, will not be prevented or detected.
  • Maximum Eligibility Period (Direct Loan)

    A period of time, measured in academic years, equal to 150 percent of the length of the educational program, as published by the institution, in which the borrower is currently enrolled.
  • MD and A

    Management's Discussion and Analysis in an audit report
  • MDE

    Multiple Data Entry
  • Means-tested benefit program

    A subsidized government benefit program (e.g., TANF), sometimes referred to as welfare, that requires beneficiaries to have income that does not exceed a specific level.
  • Measurable

    CCan be determined with reasonable certainty or is reasonably estimable.
  • Medicaid

    A subsidized government health benefit program, the receipt of which can help qualify aid applicants for the simplified needs test or automatic zero EFC.
  • Medical Technician

    An allied health professional (working in fields such as therapy, dental hygiene, medical technology, or nutrition) who is certified, registered, or licensed by the appropriate state agency in the state in which he or she provides health care services. An allied health professional is someone who assists, facilitates, or complements the work of physicians and other specialists in the health care system.
  • Merit-Based Aid

    Financial aid awarded on the basis of specific accomplishments or talents rather than financial need.
  • Micro-Purchase

    A purchase of supplies or services using simplified acquisition procedures, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold. Micro-purchase procedures comprise a subset of a non-Federal entity’s small purchase procedures. The micro-purchase threshold is set by the Federal Acquisition Regulation at 48 CFR Subpart 2.1 (Definitions). It is $3,000 except as otherwise discussed in Subpart 2.1 of that regulation, but this threshold is periodically adjusted for inflation.
  • Minimum Loan Period

    The shortest permissible length of time for which a loan may be made. For standard term credit-hour programs and nonstandard term SE9W programs, the minimum loan period is the term. For non-term programs, clock-hour programs, and non-standard term, non-SE9W programs, the minimum loan period is the lesser of
    • ŠŠ
    • the length of the program;

    • ŠŠ
    • the remaining portion of the program; or

    • ŠŠ
    • the academic year.

  • Misrepresentation

    Any false, erroneous or misleading statement an eligible institution, one of its representatives, or any ineligible institution, organization, or person with whom the eligible institution has an agreement to provide educational programs, or to provide marketing, advertising, recruiting, or admissions services makes directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student or any member of the public, or to an accrediting agency, to a state agency, or to the Department. A misleading statement includes any statement that has the likelihood or tendency to deceive or confuse. A statement is any communication made in writing, visually, orally, or through other means. Misrepresentation includes the dissemination of a student endorsement or testimonial that a student gives either under duress or because the institution required the student to make such an endorsement or testimonial to participate in a program.
  • Modified Total Direct Cost

    The first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award) excluding equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000.
  • Module

    A period of enrollment that is shorter than a school's regularly scheduled academic periods that either falls within but does not span an entire semester, or falls between of a school's regularly scheduled academic periods. Often referred to by schools as a mini-session.
  • Modules or Offered in Modules

    A program is "offered in modules" if a course or courses in the program does not span the entire length of the payment period or period of enrollment.
  • MOP

    Method of Payment
  • MOR

    Memorandum of Record
  • MOU

    Memorandum of Understanding
  • MPN

    Master Promissory Note
  • MPN Acknowledgement

    The COD response sent to schools upon receipt of an MPN once edits have been performed and the linking attempted by COD.
  • MPN ID

    The unique identifier printed on the MPN. It is made up of a student's SSN, 'M' – for subsidized or unsubsidized, 'N' – for Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS, the last two digits of the award year, a school's Direct Loan code, and a three-digit sequence number. Example: 123456789M07G12345001.
  • MTC

    Modified Total Cost
  • MTDC

    Modified Total Direct Cost
  • Multi-Year (MY) Feature

    The feature of the Master Promissory Note that allows multiple Direct Loans for the same student borrower to be disbursed under the same MPN. Once an MPN has been accepted and remains open, schools that use this feature do not have to obtain a new promissory note each academic year. The MPN may be valid for up to 10 years.
  • Multiple Disbursement Requirement

    The requirement that FSA funds, except the Federal Work-Study wages, be paid in two or more installments of approximately equal increments.
  • Multiple Reporting Record (MRR)

    For the Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant programs, the MRR identifies originations and disbursements being reported by more than one institution for the same student during the same period of time. The multiple report records are designed to provide institutions with information to identify and resolve potential overaward payments and concurrent enrollments before they occur.
  • Multiple Reporting Record (MRR)

    For the Pell Grant program, the MRR identifies originations and disbursements being reported by more than one institution for the same student during the same period of time. The multiple report records are designed to provide institutions with information to identify and resolve potential overaward payments and concurrent enrollments before they occur.
  • MY

    Multi-Year feature of Direct Loan promissory notes
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