Student Loan Acronyms You Need to Know

Here are some student loan acronyms to help you understand student loan terminology

Flickr user R. Crap Mariner

Planning for college finances can be tricky enough, even without all the letter-scrambling acronyms thrown into the mix.  Between the jargon and complicated questions, we understand why financial aid can be so difficult. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of common student loan acronyms to help break things down a bit, and make the whole process easier. Check out our other post about college finance and application acronyms as well!

While applying for student loans should be a last resort method of payment—behind scholarships, financial aid packages (from the schools or the government), and federal work study opportunities—we realize it’s an option many people must take. Generally, many people take out loans even with financial aid. With all these decisions, it’s also important to learn as much as you can in order to make the most informed choices and avoid mistakes that will hurt you down the road.

So read on to learn a little bit more about the world of student loans!


Anticipated Graduation Date. Graduation begins the grace period on repaying student loans.

Green earnest logo.

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Administrative Wage Garnishment. When a person defaults on their loan, part of their wages are withheld.


Cohort Default Rate. A percentage of federal loan borrowers who enter repayment and then default on their loans after a certain period of time.


Default Aversion Assistance. Encouragement for borrowers to repay delinquent student loans. A lender can send in a DAA request when a borrower is 60-100 days delinquent.


Direct Loan Program. A US Department of Education program that offers four types of loans: subsidized Direct Loans, unsubsidized Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans.


Federal Fiscal Year. October 1st—September 30th.

FFELP / FFEL Program

Federal Family Education Loan Program. Federal program in which lenders offer four types of loans: subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and Federal Consolidation Loans.


Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate in the Federal Perkins Loan.


A replacement for the Federal PIN.

GSL Program

Guaranteed Student Loan program. Recently changed names to the Federal Stafford Loan.


Health Professions Student Loan program.


Income-based Repayment. A federal loan repayment program that caps required monthly payment based on income.


Federal Nursing Student Loans


National Student Loan Clearinghouse.


Online Student Loan Counseling.

School NOG

School Notice of Loan Guarantee

Hopefully, this guide helped you understand financial aid better. We know how tricky financial aid can be, and also how frustrating applying for it is. If you’re interested in learning more about the financial aid process, check out our other articles. From explaining the difference between federal and private student loans, to a question-by-question guide of the FAFSA, we have you covered.

If college financing is also of concern to you, College Raptor can be an incredibly handy tool! With our free match tool, you can discover personalized college cost estimates and also see what sort of financial aid you might receive from colleges around the country.




Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
1.62% - 11.73% Variable
3.75% - 12.85% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
0.94% - 11.98% Variable
2.99% - 12.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
1.47% - 9.05% Variable
3.97% - 11.89% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
1.19% - 11.98% Variable
3.49% - 12.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
2.93% - 5.67% Variable
4.35% - 7.15% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
0.99% - 11.44% Variable
2.94% - 12.78% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.30% - 11.52% Variable
3.20% - 11.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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