Glossary - B

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Base Year

For need analysis purposes, the base year is the calendar year preceding the award year. For instance, 2006 is the base year used for the 2007-2008 award year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) uses family income from the base year because it is more accurate and easier to verify than projected yearly income.


Anyone who obtains money from a lender. The borrower signs a promissory note, which serves as the formal promise to repay the loan.

Business Office

The school office responsible for an institution's financial accounting, including Title IV aid program activity. The office disburses financial aid award payments to students and student accounts. It also processes loan checks. At various schools, it is sometimes referred to as the fiscal office, finance office, comptroller's office, bursar's office, treasurer's office, or student accounts office. See "Separation of Functions".