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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.


  • R & D

    Research and development.
  • R2TIV

    Return of Title IV Funds (process also seen as R2T4)
  • Ratio

    The relation between two quantities expressed as the quotient of one divided by the other. The ratio of 8 to 2 is written 8/2 and equals 4. Financial statement ratios are used as analytical procedures in audits.
  • RDE

    Recipient Data Exchange
  • Real Property

    Land, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances thereto, but excluding moveable machinery and equipment.
  • Reallocated FWS Funds

    FWS funds that were initially awarded to one participating institution that are returned to the Department and re-awarded to another participating institution.
  • Reasonable Assurance

    A judgment based upon all available information that the systems of internal controls are operating in accordance with Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (FMFIA).
  • Recalculation

    One or more additional determinations (after the initial calculation or disbursement) of a student's eligibility for a Pell Grant or other Title IV aid, because of changes in one or more of the factors on which the student's award was based e.g., EFC, enrollment status, dependency, etc.
  • Recertification

    The process through which a school that is presently certified to participate in the FSA programs applies to have its participation extended beyond the expiration date of its current Program Participation Agreement (PPA). (A school may be certified to participate for up to six years.) The Department will notify a school six months prior to the expiration of its PPA, and the school must submit a complete application before the expiration date.
  • Receiving Entity

    An entity to which functions are transferred.
  • Recipient of Title IV Grant or Loan Assistance

    A student for whom the requirements of 34 CFR 668.164(g)(2) have been met.
  • Recognize (a financial transaction)

    Formally recording or incorporating an item into the financial statements of an entity as an asset, liability, revenue, expense, or the like. Recognition includes determining the amount, timing, classification, and other conditions precedent to the acceptance and entry of a transaction. Recognition includes both initial recognition of an item and recognition of subsequent changes in or removal of a previously recognized item.
  • Recognized Equivalent of a High School Diploma

    The following are the equivalent of a high school diploma
    • a General Education Development Certificate (GED);

    • a state certificate received by a student after the student has passed a state-authorized examination that the state recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma;

    • an academic transcript of a student who has successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree; or

    • for a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and who has not completed high school but who excelled academically in high school, documentation that the student excelled academically in high school and has met the formalized, written policies of the institution for admitting such students.

  • Recognized Occupation

    An occupation that is
    • identified by a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code established by the Office of Management and Budget or an Occupational Information Network O*NET-SOC code established by the Department of Labor and available at or its successor site; or

    • determined by the Department of Education in consultation with the Department of Labor to be a recognized occupation.

  • Reconciliation

    A process in which financial records are compared and discrepancies resolved. Monthly reconciliation is required in most federal student aid programs.

  • Reconciliation (in the Direct Loan Program)

    Required monthly comparison of the funds schools have received (from the G5 system to pay its students) with the actual disbursement records submitted to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system. Schools are also required to complete a final reconciliation of their Direct Loan accounts (year-end closeout).
  • Record (v.)

    To give expression to a transaction on (or in) the books of account; to enter.
  • Recourse

    The rights of a holder in due course of a financial instrument (such as a loan) to force the endorser on the instrument to meet his or her legal obligations for making good the payment of the instrument if dishonored by the maker or acceptor.
  • Red Flags Rule

    Issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in concert with other federal agencies, these regulations require financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program to detect, prevent, and respond to patterns, practices, or specific activities that may indicate identity theft. The "Red Flags Rule" applies to institutions participating in the Federal Perkins Loan Program and may apply to other credit programs administered by an institution and to institutionally-mandated accounts into which students Title IV credit balances are deposited.
  • Refund

    The return of interest or excess cash to the Department from G5 drawdowns or the return of audit and program review liabilities and fines. Often incorrectly used by schools to refer to a school's distribution of a FSA credit balance to a student.
  • Refund Policy

    The published institutional, state, or accrediting agency formula a school applies when a student withdraws or otherwise ceases attendance to determine whether funds paid by, or on behalf of the student must be returned to the payee.
  • Refund Reserve Standard

    One of the standards that a school must satisfy to be considered financially responsible is that it must have sufficient cash reserves to return federal student aid funds when a student withdraws.
  • Regular Student

    A person who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program at an eligible institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution. A school must document that an aid recipient is a regular student.
  • Rehabilitation (of a defaulted loan)

    Process by which a borrower may bring a loan out of default by adhering to specified repayment requirements.
  • Reimbursement Payment Method

    The most restrictive heightened cash management payment plan. Under reimbursement, the FSA School Participation Team initiates a drawdown through G5 on behalf of a school or direct cash payments are deposited in the school's bank account based on actual disbursements submitted to and accepted by the COD System.
  • Reinstatement (of borrower FSA eligibility)

    A process by which a borrower who has outstanding debts to the Department or has a defaulted FSA loan regains eligibility for FSA funds by satisfying the debt, paying off the loan, or agreeing to and adhering to strict repayment requirements.
  • Reject Codes

    Alphabetic and numeric codes for the problems found with a student's FAFSA. When there is a reject, no EFC is generated and the reason for the reject must be addressed. Alphabetic codes indicate reject reasons that are verifiable, that is, the student can verify the questionable value by re-entering it if it is correct or changing it if it is wrong. Numeric reject codes are not verifiable—the questioned data must be changed (or provided if the field was left blank).
  • Related Parties

    Those with whom a client has a business relationship that might damage the self-interest of one of the parties (accounting is based on measurement of arm’s length transactions). Related parties include affiliates of the client, principle owners, management (decision makers who control business policy), and members of their immediate families.
  • Release Record

    A record that changes an anticipated disbursement to an Actual Disbursement Record. Schools using the Common Record submit a new record with the DRI set to True.
  • Religious Institution

    A school that is owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation; and awards only religious degrees or certificates including, but not limited to, a certificate of Talmudic studies, an associate of Biblical studies, a bachelor of religious studies, a master of divinity, or a doctor of divinity.
  • Remaining Eligibility Period (Direct Loan)

    The difference, measured in academic years, between the borrower's maximum eligibility period and the sum of the borrower¹s subsidized usage periods, except as provided in the regulations.
  • Remaining Eligibility (Pell)

    The percentage of a student's Pell Grant Scheduled Award that has not yet been disbursed for an award year.
  • Remedial Coursework

    Coursework that prepares a student for study at the postsecondary level. A student enrolled solely in remedial coursework is not eligible for Title IV aid, however, if a student is enrolled in an eligible program which contains some remedial coursework, he/she can be considered a regular student and potentially eligible for Title IV aid, even if he is taking all remedial courses before taking any regular courses.
  • Renewal FAFSA

    The application, available on the FOTW site, that contains pre-filled information taken from the student's valid application the previous year.
  • Repayment Period

    The time during which a borrower is obligated to make payments on a loan according to the terms and conditions of the loan's promissory note and the repayment plan the borrower chooses. For Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, repayment begins the day after the grace period ends. For Direct PLUS Loans, repayment begins the day after the loan is fully disbursed.
  • Repayment Plan

    An arrangement made to repay a loan or other financial obligation. Repayment plans vary substantially among federal education loans. (See Direct Loan Repayment Plan.)
  • Repeated Coursework

    Courses in which a student has enrolled previously and is enrolled again.
  • Reportable Condition (financial reporting)

    A control deficiency, or combination of control deficiencies, that adversely affects the entity's ability to initiate, authorize, record, process, or report external financial data reliably in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, such that there is more than a remote likelihood that a misstatement of the entity's financial statements, or other significant financial reports, that is more than inconsequential will not be prevented or detected.
  • Reportable Condition (overall)

    A control deficiency or combination of control deficiencies that should be communicated because they represent significant weaknesses or deficiencies in the design or operation of internal control that could adversely affect the organization's ability to meet its internal control objectives.
  • Reporting School

    The school that sends and receives data for the campuses or students it serves. The Reporting School must be a school and cannot be a 3rd Party Servicer.
  • Research and Development (R&D)

    All research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-Federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

    “Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

  • Response

    The Common Record document sent back to the school after processing of an incoming Common Record document is complete. This Common Record contains processing results and edit codes.
  • Retiree (in the TEACH Program)

    An individual who has decided to change his or her occupation for any reason and who has expertise, as determined by the institution, in a high-need field.
  • Retroactive Payment/Disbursement

    A disbursement or payment made to a student for a payment period or period of enrollment that has ended.
  • Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4/Return)

    The calculation required when a recipient of Title IV aid withdraws from an institution during a payment period/period of enrollment in which the recipient began attendance. The calculation compares the amount of Title IV aid the recipient earned to the amount disbursed and determines whether funds must be returned, or the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
  • Returning Funds

    The transfer or repayment of FSA funds required when a school must correct an overaward or an overpayment, and the return of funds that may be required when a student withdraws or otherwise ceases attendance during a payment period or period of enrollment.
  • Revenue Adjustment

    A contra revenue account that is used to report reduction in revenue when realization is not probable (less likely than not).
  • Revolving Fund

    A fund consisting of permanent appropriation and expenditures of collections, that are earmarked to finance a continuing cycle of business-type operations. A school's Perkins Loan fund is a revolving fund.
  • Risk

    The possibility of an act or event occurring that would have an adverse effect on the organization and its information systems.
  • Risk Assessment

    A prioritization of potential business disruptions based on severity and likelihood of occurrence. The risk assessment includes an analysis of threats based on the impact to the institution, its customers, and financial markets, rather than the nature of the threat.
  • Risk Management

    An approach to problem analysis which weighs risk in a situation by using risk probabilities to find a more accurate understanding of the risks involved. Risk management includes risk identification, analysis, prioritization, and control.
  • Roster File

    The output document from the Enrollment Reporting process. The Roster File lists all Direct Loan Program borrowers at a school who were last reported as enrolled. Formerly known as Student Status Confirmation Report (SSCR). (See also Enrollment Reporting Roster File.)
  • ROTW

    Renewal FAFSA on the Web
  • Routing Identifier

    An identifier established by the U.S. Department of Education in Award as an identifier assigned to schools and third-party Servicers that is common across the Pell Grant and Direct Loan programs. It is a randomly generated eight-digit number that replaces the Pell Institution Number and Direct Loan (E/G) School code for the reporting of Pell Grant and Direct Loan data. It was previously referred to as the Common School Identifier (CSID).
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