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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.


  • T1

    Tier One
  • T2

    Tier Two
  • 25% Threshold

    The point at which a change in owner-ship interests must be reported to the Department: when an owner acquires a total interest of 25% or more or when an owner of 25% or more increases or reduces that interest at all.
  • T-account

    A visual aid used by accountants to illustrate a journal entry's effect on the general ledger accounts. Debit amounts are entered on the left side of the "T" and credit amounts are entered on the right side.
  • TANF

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)

    Unique nine-digit number assigned to a grantee organization and used to report activity to the Internal Revenue Service. In other words, the TIN is the grantee's social security number.

    Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
  • TEACH Grant

    See Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.
  • TEACH Grant Counseling

    The required process of advising a potential TEACH Grant recipient about the full nature of the TEACH program, the service agreement and their obligations based upon receiving a TEACH Grant.
  • TEACH Grant-Eligible Institution

    An eligible institution as defined in 34 CFR part 600, 34 CFR part 668, subpart L, or 34 CFR 668.175, and that also fulfills the requirements of 34 CFR 686.2.
  • TEACH Grant-Eligible Program

    An eligible program, as defined in 34 CFR 668.8, is a program of study that is designed to prepare an individual to teach as a highly-qualified teacher in a high-need field and leads to a baccalaureate or master's degree, or is a post-baccalaureate program of study. A two-year program of study that is acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree is considered to be a program of study that leads to a baccalaureate degree.
  • Teacher

    A teacher is a person who provides
    • direct classroom teaching;

    • classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting; or

    • educational services to students directly related to classroom teaching such as school librarians or school guidance counselors.

    A supervisor, administrator, researcher, or curriculum specialist is not a teacher unless he or she primarily provides direct and personal educational services to students.

  • Teacher (in the TEACH Program)

    A person who provides direct classroom teaching or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting, including special education teachers and reading specialists.
  • Teacher Certification Coursework

    Courses required for teacher certification or recertification in the state where the student plans to teach. Must be offered in credit or clock hours (courses using direct assessment in lieu of credit or clockhour programs are not eligible). A student may be potentially eligible for Direct Loans and a parent may receive Direct PLUS Loans on behalf of a student for at least one-half-time enrollment in teacher certification coursework, even if it does not lead to a degree or certificate. See also Non-Credential Teacher Certification Program Coursework.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program

    A grant program authorized by Title IV of the HEA under which grants are awarded by an institution to students who are completing, or intend to complete, coursework to begin a career in teaching and who agree to serve for not less than four years as a full-time, highly-qualified teacher in a high-need field in a low-income school. If the recipient of a TEACH Grant does not complete four years of qualified teaching service within eight years of completing the course of study for which the TEACH Grant was received or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of 34 CFR 686.12, the amount of the TEACH Grant converts into a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
  • Teacher Preparation Program (in the TEACH Program)

    A state-approved course of study, the completion of which signifies that an enrollee has met all the state's educational or training requirements for initial certification or licensure to teach in the state's elementary or secondary schools. A teacher preparation program may be a regular program or an alternative route to certification, as defined by the state. For purposes of a TEACH Grant, the program must be provided by an institution of higher education.
  • Teaching in a Field of Expertise

    The majority of classes taught are in the borrower's field of expertise.
  • Teach-Out Plan

    A written plan developed by an institution that provides for the equitable treatment of students if an institution, or an institutional location that provides 100 percent of at least one program, ceases to operate before all students have completed their program of study, and may include, if required by the institution's accrediting agency, a teach-out agreement between institutions.
  • Technological Risk

    Risk is the possibility of harm or loss to any software, information, hardware, administrative, physical, communications, or personnel resource within an automated information system or activity.
  • Telecommunications Course

    A course offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission, including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, satellite, audio conferencing, computer conferencing, video cassettes, or discs. The term "telecommunications" does not include a course that is delivered using video cassettes or disc recordings unless the institution also delivers comparable instruction offered on the cassettes or discs to students physically attending classes at the institution during the same award year. If the course offered in the manner described above does not qualify as a telecommunications course, it is considered to be a correspondence course.
  • Temporarily Totally Disabled

    The condition of an individual who, though not totally and permanently disabled, is unable to work and earn money or attend school, during a period of at least 60 days needed to recover from injury or illness. With regard to a disabled dependent of a borrower, this term means a spouse or other dependent who, during a period of injury or illness, requires continuous nursing or similar services for a period of at least 90 days.
  • Termination (of participation)

    The removal of a school's or third-party servicer's eligibility to participate in the federal student aid programs, for an indefinite period of time.
  • Testing (of controls)

    Verifying the effectiveness of controls in operation by determining if they are, in fact, operating as intended, meeting the control objectives, and reducing risks. Testing may take several forms including document analysis, transaction testing, observation, or interview.
  • TFA

    Two-Factor Authentication
  • TFAP

    Training for Financial Aid Professionals
  • TFCS

    Treasury Financial Communications System
  • TFM

    Treasury Financial Manual
  • Third-party In-kind Contributions

    The value of noncash contributions (i.e., property or services) that—(a) Benefit a federally assisted project or program; and (b) Are contributed by non-Federal third parties, without charge, to a non-Federal entity under a Federal award.
  • Third-party Servicer

    Any individual, any State, or any private, for-profit or nonprofit organization which enters into a contract with
    • any eligible institution of higher education to administer, through either manual or automated processing, any aspect of such institution's student assistance programs under this title; or

    • any guaranty agency, or any eligible lender, to administer, through either manual or automated processing, any aspect of such guaranty agency's or lender's student loan programs, including originating, guaranteeing, monitoring, processing, servicing, or collecting loans.

  • Three-Day Rule

    A school must disburse FSA funds received under the advance payment method as soon as administratively feasible but no later than three business days following the date the school received those funds.
  • Three-Quarter Time Student

    An enrolled student who is carrying a three-quarter-time academic workload, as determined by the institution, that amounts to at least three quarters of the work of the applicable minimum requirement outlined in the definition of a full-time student.
  • Tier One Arrangement

    A financial contract between a school located in a state that has a contract with a thirdparty servicer under which

      1. the servicer performs one or more of the functions associated with processing direct payments of Title IV, HEA program funds on behalf of the institution; and

      2. the school or third-party servicer makes payments to—

    • One or more financial accounts that are offered to students under the contract;
    • A financial account where information about the account is communicated directly to students by the third-party servicer, or the institution on behalf of or in conjunction with the third-party servicer; or
    • A financial account where information about the account is communicated directly to students by an entity contracting with or affiliated with the third-party servicer.
  • Tier Two Arrangement

    A financial contract between a school located in a state and a third-party servicer such as a financial institution, or entity that offers financial accounts through a financial institution, under which financial accounts are offered and marketed directly to students enrolled at the institution.
  • TIN

    Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Title I Children

    Children ages 5 through 17 who are counted under section 1124(c)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  • Title IV, HEA or Federal Student Aid (FSA) Credit Balance

    A credit balance that occurs whenever the amount of Title IV, HEA program funds credited to a student's ledger account for a payment period exceeds the amount assessed the student for allowable charges associated with that payment period.
  • Title IV, HEA Program

    Financial aid programs for postsecondary students, authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Title IV, HEA) and administered by the U.S. Department of Education and listed in 34 CFR 668.1(c). Also known as the federal student aid programs.
  • Title IV Recipient

    A student who has actually received Title IV funds, or has met the conditions that entitle a student to a late disbursement.
  • TIV

    Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA)
  • TO

    Training Officer
  • Total Eligibility Used

    The sum of all Eligibility Used (EU) for the Award Year.
  • Total and Permanent Disability

    Condition of an individual who
    • is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death; has lasted for a continuous period of at least 60 months; or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 60 months; or

    • has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

  • Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

    Loan discharge granted to a borrower who meets the definition of totally and permanent disabled.
  • Total Income

    Adjusted gross income plus untaxed income and benefits for the preceding tax year minus excludable income. For a detailed explanation of Total Income see the Higher Education Act, as amended, Part F, Section 480(a).
  • Total Monthly Gross Income

    The gross amount of income received by a borrower from employment (either full-time or part-time) and from other sources. It is used to determine the amount of the monthly payment a federal student aid loan borrower must make under certain repayment plans.
  • TPD

    Total and Permanent Disability (usually modifies "discharge")
  • Trailer

    A crossover term funded out of the preceding award year. See also Header.
  • Transfer Student

    A student who withdraws or graduates from one school and enrolls at another school. See also Transfer Monitoring.
  • Transfer (student) Monitoring

    Process through which schools send student information to NSLDS so schools can be notified of relevant changes to a student's financial aid history and eligibility.
  • Transfer Student Monitoring School Transfer Profile (in NSLDS)

    A webpage that displays information about the school for the Transfer Student Monitoring process. The page includes how a school is set up to submit Inform files, length of time for monitoring, and designation for alert notifications. This information is provided and updated by school users, and must be completed prior to submitting your school's first Inform.
  • Transaction

    Any submission to the CPS by a financial aid applicant or a school of an application or changes to it. Each transaction results in a new ISIR and SAR and is identified by a two-digit transaction number (for example, 01, 02, or 03). The initial FAFSA submission and SAR/ISIR for the award year is the first transaction and therefore has the transaction number 01.
  • Transaction Receipt Date

    The date the FAFSA processor or the CPS received the input information that generated the transaction. The Transaction Receipt Date changes with each new transaction. The date the FAFSA Processor or CPS received the initial submission of the FAFSA (the first transaction) is known as the Application Receipt Date and is fixed.
  • Transfer of Campus-Based Funds

    To help meet their students' need, schools may transfer funds from certain Campus-Based Programs into certain other Campus-Based Programs. The Department's permission is not required.
  • Trial Balance

    A statement of open debit and credit accounts in a ledger to test their equality. The total of the amounts in the debit column should equal the total of the amounts in the credit column.
  • Tribal College or University

    An institution that
    • qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978 or the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978; or

    • is cited in section 532 of the Equity in Education Land Grant Status Act of 1994.

  • TSM

    Transfer Student Monitoring
  • Two-Year Rule for New Proprietary or Vocational Schools

    The requirement that new proprietary or postsecondary vocational institutions must be legally authorized to give (and have continuously been giving) the same postsecondary instruction for at least two consecutive years prior to their application to participate in the Title IV programs.
  • Two Plus Two Program

    A partnership between a two-year and a four-year school that facilitates students completing the last two years of their four-year degree.
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