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Glossary of Terms

Glossary is usually defined as an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge. This InfoBase glossary provides a collection of InfoBase documents that define many technical terms. These terms are arranged alphabetically, but you can quickly jump to a specific term by selecting its first letter from the index of the InfoBase glossary below.

Data Release Number (DRN)
The four-digit number assigned to your FAFSA that allows you to release your FAFSA data to schools you did not list on your original FAFSA. You need this number if you contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center to make corrections to your mailing address or the schools you listed on your FAFSA. You find this number below the confirmation number on your FAFSA submission confirmation page or in the top right-hand corner of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
Default
Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. You may experience serious legal consequences if you default.
Default Rate
The percentage of borrowers who fail to repay their loans according to the terms of their promissory notes.
Deferment
A postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. Any unpaid interest that accrued during the deferment period may be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of the loan(s).
Delinquent
A loan is delinquent when loan payments are not received by the due dates. A loan remains delinquent until the borrower makes up the missed payment(s) through payment, deferment, or forbearance. If the borrower is unable to make payments, he or she should contact his or her loan servicer to discuss options to keep the loan in good standing.
Dependency Status
The determination of a financial aid applicant as dependent or independent; dependent student’s are required to provide their parents’ information on the financial aid application, while independent students are not.
Dependent Student
A student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. A dependent student is required to provide their parents’ information on their financial aid application.
Developmental Courses
Courses that teach basic reading, writing, or math skills to prepare students for college-level coursework. They are numbered in the 060s, 070s, 080s, and 090s and are required for students who place below a certain level on a placement test. The credits earned for these classes count toward a student’s GPA (grade point average). They can be covered by financial aid but are not transferable and do not count toward degree requirements.
Direct Consolidation Loan
A federal loan made by the U.S. Department of Education that allows you to combine one or more federal student loans into one new loan. As a result of consolidation, you will only have to make one monthly payment on your federal loans, and the amount of time you have to repay your loan will be extended.
Direct Loan
A federal student loan for which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans are types of Direct Loans. Direct Loans are sometimes referred to as Stafford Loans.
Direct PLUS Loans
A loan made by the U.S. Department of Education to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest, regardless of the loan status.
Disability Services
Students with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, may seek services (interpreters, readers, note takers or other reasonable accommodations) from the Counseling Center in the Bailey Student Services Building.
Disbursement/Disburse
When financial aid funds (grants, loans, scholarships, etc.) are applied to a student’s account balance. Disbursements typically pay off any remaining balance the student has, then the student is issued a refund for any remaining funds. Disbursements occur on specified dates during each semester. A student’s specific disbursement date is primarily determined by when their classes start. The anticipated disbursement schedule varies each semester and is usually listed at www.abtech.edu/financial-aid.
Discretionary Income
An individual’s income minus the poverty guidelines for your family size.
Disposable Pay
The amount that remains from an employee’s pay after deductions.
Distance or Online Learning
An option for earning course credit off-campus by internet. 100% of the course instruction is delivered online, although there may be some exams that occur on campus. Distance students must be proficient with computers and exhibit a high level of self discipline to keep up with each course assignment. Because of recent federal laws, we can only accept distance students who reside in North Carolina or from states bordering North Carolina.
DRN (Data Release Number)
The four-digit number assigned to your FAFSA that allows you to release your FAFSA data to schools you did not list on your original FAFSA. You need this number if you contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center to make corrections to your mailing address or the schools you listed on your FAFSA. You find this number below the confirmation number on your FAFSA submission confirmation page or in the top right-hand corner of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
Drop/Add
The process of adjusting a student’s schedule by dropping and/or adding courses after initial registration. Dropped courses do not appear on a student transcript. Full or partial refunds are available, depending on when in the drop period a student drops the class. (Do not confuse “dropping” a class with “withdrawing” from a class. See Withdrawal Period.) The deadline for dropping/adding a class is listed on the college calendar online or in the student handbook.
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