Glossary

Amended Returns

If an amended tax return was filed, to complete verification, we need the following:

  • A copy of the tax return transcript, which can be ordered online and
  • A signed copy of the 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

Asset

A valuable item in a family's property or investments, such as a home, business equity, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash, bank accounts and trust funds.

Check the year

Some financial aid forms are updated annually. Check the date on the form to make sure it matches the academic year for which you're applying for aid.

Cost of Attendance

Usually the cost of attendance (COA) refers to the total amount of education expenses (tuition, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses, etc.). Learn more.

Definition of Need

Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the expected family contribution (EFC).

eConsent

You must provide consent to submit and access financial aid information electronically. After being admitted to MU, log on to myZou, and click on "UM e-Consent." More about eConsent.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is the number used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional need-based aid programs. This number results from the financial information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Electronic Forms.

Some of the forms on this page that you can link to are electronic forms. If applicable, the link will send you to an online forms page and you will be required to authenticate with your PawPrint and password. Only students who are required to fill out the form will be able to complete it. You can review the questions on the form, but you will not be able to save it or make revisions once you have successfully submitted. Once you successfully submit, you will receive a confirmation receipt via email. If you have any questions about this form, please contact mufinaidverification@missouri.edu.

Estimate Your Expenses

For more specific information about the tuition and fees component of the cost of attendance, please see the Cashier’s Office website at http://cashiers.missouri.edu/costs/. Information about current residence hall rates and amenities, including dining plan rates, can be found at http://reslife.missouri.edu/rates-amenities.

Extensions

If someone has files an extension, we can complete verification with the following:

  1. Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (IRS form 4868)
  2. A SIGNED draft of your federal tax return
  3. W2(s) (if applicable)

After October 15th, when extensions are due to the IRS, we will no longer accept the above documents to complete verification. You will need to request your tax return transcript from the IRS or use the IRS data retrieval tool on the FAFSA. If your file was verified based on an extension, you will still be asked to submit a Tax Return Transcript or use the Data Retrieval Tool at a later date (prior to spring disbursement).

FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used by the Department of Education and MU to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including grants, educational loans and work-study programs. You must apply annually. Mizzou's priority deadline is March 1.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. It's designed to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data. Learn more.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Average of a student's grades, usually on a 4.0 scale. (A=4.0. B=3.0. C= 2.0. D=1.0.)

Grant

A financial aid grant is money awarded to a student by federal and state governments and by institutions. Grants do not have to be repaid.

Loan

An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Eligibility usually is based on financial need.

Loan Consolidation

The Higher Education Act (HEA) provides for a loan consolidation program under both the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs and the Direct Loan Program. These programs simplify loan repayment by combining several types of federal education loans into one new loan. Benefits may include lower interest rates and an extended repayment time.

Promissory Note / Master Promissory Note (MPN)

A promissory note is a binding legal document a student must sign before loan funds can be disbursed by the lender. The promissory note outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the repayment schedule, the interest rate and cancellation conditions. Using a master promissory note (MPN) enables you to sign one note to receive multiple loans in different academic years under the same program. An MPN is good for 10 years, after which it must be signed again for additional funds.

Merit-based aid

Eligibility for merit-based financial aid awards depends on academic achievements, special talents or other criteria rather than on financial need.

Missouri resident

Missouri resident status is achieved when a student provides sufficient proof of a home within the state before enrolling at MU. For these students, educational fees are assessed at Missouri resident rates.

myZou

MyZou is the University of Missouri's online student registration and management system. You can use it to:

  • View and pay your bill
  • Manage your financial aid
  • Enroll in or drop courses
  • View your class schedule and grades
  • Enable or disable FERPA
  • Update your contact information
  • View your residence hall assignment

Parent on FAFSA

Dependent students are instructed to file the FAFSA with his/her legal parents, biological and/or adoptive. Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and aunts and uncles are not a parent on the FAFSA unless they have legally adopted the student. Visit our parent page for additional guidance on who is considered a parent on the FAFSA.

PawPrint

A PawPrint, also known as a username, is the ID needed to access most MU technology resources, including e-mail and myZou. Every MU student and employee is provided with a PawPrint.

PLUS Loan

The PLUS loan is a non-need-based federal loan that can provide additional financing for a student's education. This type of loan requires a separate application and credit check. Learn more.

Scholarship

A scholarship is a financial award that does not have to be repaid. Eligibility is based on criteria established by the donor or institution and may include need or merit.

Verification

The federal government requires schools distributing financial aid to verify the consistency and accuracy of data submitted on the FAFSA. Some financial aid applicants are asked to submit documents such as tax return transcripts and W-2 forms to the Student Financial Aid office. Learn more.

Victims of Fraud

If you are selected for verification and you or your parent are believed to be a victim of Identity Theft and cannot request a tax return transcript, follow these steps:

  • The tax filer must call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490
  • Signed and dated statement from the tax filers indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft (Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit).
  • Upon authentication of the tax filer's identity, the IRS will provide the tax information to you
  • Submit the tax information to the financial aid office to complete verification

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Program providing students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary, and the university or business pays the rest. Eligibility is based on need. Learn more.