Student Loan Glossary

With so many acronyms, myriad loan programs, and seemingly out of context terms, it’s very challenging to know what it all means. Goodbye Loans wants to provide our end-users with information germane to their situation so that people can review it at a glance.

Please check back frequently, as we will be continuously updating our FAQs, thanks.

Bank Based Federal Loan Program

If you apply for financial aid, your school will likely include student loans as part of your financial aid package. It’s important to understand what types of loans you are offered. Generally, there are two types of student loans: Federal student loans: These loans are funded by the federal government. Private student loans: These loans are non-federal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – (CFPB) A regulatory agency charged with overseeing financial products and services that are offered to consumers.

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.


DOE. Job-hunters choose between postings on a number of criteria, but wages and benefits are among the most important. Some job descriptions simply describe wages as competitive; others may use the acronym DOE which indicates that compensation “Depends on Experience.”

Falsifying Job Placement

A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an unaccredited higher education institution that offers illegitimate academic degrees and diplomas for a fee. These degrees may claim to give credit for relevant life experience, but should not be confused with legitimate prior learning assessment programs. They may also claim to evaluate work history or require submission of a thesis or dissertation for evaluation to give an appearance of authenticity. The term may also be used pejoratively to describe an accredited institution with low academic admission standards and a low job placement rate. An individual may or may not be aware that the degree they have obtained is not wholly legitimate. In either case, legal issues can arise if the qualification is used in resumés.

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program

FFEL includes four components: Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans. Note: loans are no longer being made under this program. All new loans will be made under the Direct Loan program.

Federal Financial Regulators

The U.S. Federal Financial Institution Regulatory Agencies Group (Group) consists of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB). The Group was established on March 10, 1979, pursuant to title X of the Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978 (FIRA), Public Law 95-630. In 1989, title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform. The Group is a formal interagency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the FRB, FDIC, NCUA, OCC, and OTS and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. The group is being represented primarily by Karen Kelbly, Chief Accountant of the NCUA.

Federal Grants

In the United States, federal grants are economic aid issued by the United States government out of the general federal revenue. A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States.

Federal Loan Forgiveness

Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program) loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is any grant or scholarship, loan, or paid employment offered to help a student meet his/her college expenses. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations.

For Profit Universities

For-profit education refers to higher educational institutions operated by private, profit-seeking businesses. One type of for profit schol is known as an educational management organization (EMO), and these are primary and secondary educational institutions. EMOs work with school districts or charter schools, using public funds to finance operations.


The FSA ID is your electronic passport to federal student aid online. If you’re ready, you can create an FSA ID now.


Your grade point average (GPA) is the measure used for academic achievement at Griffith University. You will find your GPA listed on your unofficial academic transcript. Your GPA is calculated using your grades* and the credit point value of the courses you have completed.

Grade Inflation

Grade inflation is the tendency to award progressively higher academic grades for work that would have received lower grades in the past. It is frequently discussed in relation to education in the United States.

Hidden Costs

Private Education Loans are generally more expensive than federal loans, and the rules for paying them back are usually stricter. These loans have different repayment, deferment and forbearance options than Stafford loans. An interest rate on a Private Loan can change any time throughout the year, if the rate is variable.

Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act (HEA) is the federal law that governs the administration of federal student aid programs. The HEA was originally passed in 1965 and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Illegal Debt Collection

If you’re behind on your bills, you’ll probably get calls from debt collectors. Their job is to get you to pay or make arrangements to pay. But any debt collector who harasses or threatens you is breaking the law.

Incentivizing Employees

Section 487 (a)(20) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits the University from providing incentive compensation to employees or third party entities for their success in securing student enrollments or the awarding of Title IV Higher Education Act program funds.

Predatory Lenders

Predatory lending is any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower. It is also any practice that convinces a borrower to accept unfair terms through deceptive, coercive, exploitative or unscrupulous actions for a loan that a borrower doesn’t need, doesn’t want or can’t afford.

Student Loan Servicer

A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loans. So those bills you get in the mail? There is a good chance they are coming from a loan servicer on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.

The Federal Reserve Policymakers

The Federal Reserve implements monetary policy to promote its statutory mandate of maximum employment and price stability. When economic conditions and the outlook for future economic activity and inflation warrant, the Committee expects to start the process of removing the extraordinary monetary accommodation it provided to the economy during and in the aftermath of the financial crisis that began in 2007 by taking steps to gradually raise the federal funds rate and other short-term interest rates to more normal levels and reduce the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings.

The U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress.

Please note for a detailed glossary about every facet of higher education, please visit Federal Financial Aid.