Taft College  >  Admissions   >   Financial Aid  >  Glossary

Academic Year – The normal academic year consists of a fall and spring semester and summer sessions.  For example: August 2020- July 2021.

Book Loan Voucher – A book loan voucher is an advance on the federal financial aid award which allows students to purchase or rent books and purchase supplies at the Taft College Bookstore.  The amount of the book loan voucher will be deducted from the federal financial aid refund.  The vouchers are available one week before the beginning of the fall and spring semester.  The voucher must be redeemed within seven days of the beginning of the fall and spring semester.

Budget – A budget is a guide which keeps students on the path to reach financial goals.  Budgeting keeps finances under control, shows when to make adjustments to spending and helps one decide where the money goes instead of wondering where it all went.

Cal Grants – Cal Grants are funded by the State of California.  These grants are awarded based on eligibility criteria including income requirements as well as minimum GPA requirements.  These grants do not have to be repaid.  There are three categories of Cal Grant:  A, B & C.  Cal B & C are awarded to community college students.  Cal A is awarded to UC or CSU students.

California College Promise Grant – California College Promise, formerly known as the Board of Governors Grantk, waives fees for qualified California residents and AB 540 individuals for the entire school year.  The academic year consists for a fall, spring and summer.  For example: August 2020 – July 2021.  The fee waiver is for those who meet certain income standards and household size.  Students may receive a waiver for any number of units, with no minimum.  There is not cash value for the fee waiver.

Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) – CARE is a program for EOPS qualified students which provides additional support to single parents receiving TANF/CalWORKS (cash aid) to help them overcome obstacles and expand his/her educational opportunities.

Cost of Attendance (COA) – The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of expenses for one year at college.  This estimate take the following into consideration:  books and supplies, room and board, tuition and fees, transportation and other miscellaneous fees.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – The Expected Family Contribution measure a family’s financial strength and is used to determine eligibility for federal aid during one school year.  Students receive an EFC based on the processed results of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) – EOPS is a state-funded program at Taft College which provides educational support services to eligible students who have historically experienced economic and educational disadvantages.  EOPS assists eligible students in obtaining their educational goals by providing additional support through counseling, book services, assistance in transferring to a four-year university and other services.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – The FAFSA is the first step to receiving financial aid and can be accessed online at

Federal Pell Grant – The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low income undergraduates.  Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC), the Cost of Attendance (COA, as determined by the institution), the student’s enrollment status (full time: 12 or more units, 3/4 time: 9 – 11.5 units, 1/2 time: 5 – 8.5 units and less than 1/2 time: 0 -4.5 units) and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – FSEOG program is available to qualified undergraduate students with the greatest financial need and does not have to be repaid.  Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.  Eligible students may receive the grant on a first come-first serve basis, depending on their need, the availability of FSEOG funds at the college and the amount of other aid awarded.  All undergraduate students who apply for financial aid are automatically considered for this grant.

Financial Aid – Financial Aid is an umbrella term which includes ALL of the following: federal and state grants, work study, college scholarships and tuition waivers.

Financial Need – Need is determined by the following calculation: COA – EFC = need.  Generally, a higher Cost of Attendance and lower Expected Family Contribution will increase chances of qualifying for need-based aid.

Full Time – A student enrolled in 12 or more units in one semester.

General Educational Development (GED) certificate – A certificate which a student receives if he/she has passed a specific, approved high school equivalency test.  Students with a GED certificate are eligible to receive federal student aid.

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) – The sum of all Pell Grant aid award year eligibility awarded to students which affects lifetime Pell eligibility.  The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime by federal law.  The regulations reduces the duration of a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant from 18 full-time semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 full-time semesters (or its equivalent).

Matriculating – A process bringing the college and the student into an agreement designed to achieve the student’s educational goal(s).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) – SAP is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree.  The Financial Aid Office must monitor the progress of each student toward the completion of a certificate or degree in order to meet federal and state guidelines governing the administration of student financial assistance.  Students who fall behind in their coursework or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and institutional aid administered by the Financial Aid Office. SAP is evaluated at the end of the fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.

Student Aid Report (SAR) – The SAR is a paper or electronic document giving students some basic information about their eligibility for federal student aid and lists the answers to the questions on the FAFSA.

Verification – A process used to confirm data reported on the FAFSA.  Institutions are authorized to obtain documentation to confirm the information reported on the FAFSA.

Work Study – A student aid program providing part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay for educational expenses.