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Teaching Assistantship (TA)

A form of financial aid given to graduate students to help support their education. Teaching assistantships usually provide the graduate student with a waiver of all or part of tuition, plus a small stipend for living expenses. As the name implies, a TA is required to perform teaching duties.

Technical/Professional Fields

A group of occupationally oriented fields of study, other than engineering and computer science, that includes agriculture and agricultural sciences, architecture, business and management, communications, education, health sciences, home economics, law, library and archival sciences, military sciences, parks and recreation, protective services, and public affairs.


A length of time in which to repay a loan. The term is usually agreed to by lender and borrower within the borrower's contract or promissory note. Also refers to language used in legal documents, such as the promissory note, that defines how a loan will be borrowed and repaid. Also refers to some post-secondary educational institutions' academic period.

Title IV Student Financial Aid

TITLE IV Federal financial aid programs for students attending postsecondary educational institutions, authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Title IV programs consist of:

  • Federal Pell Grants,
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG),
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS),
  • Federal Perkins Loans,
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans,
  • Federal Consolidation Loans,
  • State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG),
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans,
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships, AND
  • Presidential Access Scholarships (currently, these scholarships are unfunded).

Tuition and Fees

A payment or charge for instruction or compensation for services, privileges, or the use of equipment, books, or other goods.

Types of higher education institutions:

    4-year institution An institution legally authorized to offer and offering at least a 4-year program of college level studies wholly or principally creditable toward a baccalaureate degree. In some tables, a further division between universities and other 4-year institutions is made. A "university" is a postsecondary institution that typically comprises one or more graduate professional schools. (See also University.)

    2-year institution An institution legally authorized to offer and offering at least a 2-year program of college level studies that terminates in an associate's degree or is principally creditable toward a baccalaureate degree.

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