Financial Aid Terms

The following is an alphabetical collection of special terms and their meanings especially helpful to prospective and current students of National University of Natural Medicine

Academic Year

A period of time used to measure the quantity of study. NUNM operates on a quarter system with summer, fall, winter and spring terms. For financial aid purposes, the academic year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.  At NUNM, summer term is defined as the lead/header term and depending on a student’s program of enrollment, you may or may not need to attend one or more summer terms.

Alternative Loan Options

Many lenders offer alternative loans to help families pay for college.

Citizen/Eligible Non-citizen

You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)

Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are one of the following:

  • U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or “Green Card”)
  • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
  • A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM).

You can receive federal student aid if you are an eligible non-citizen. You must enter your eight or nine-digit Alien Registration Number (ARN) on the FAFSA.

If your citizenship status has changed from an eligible non-citizen to a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your citizenship status. If you do not update your citizenship status with the SSA, it could delay processing your student financial aid. To contact the SSA call 1.800.772.1213 or visit the Social Security Administration’s Web site.

If you are in the US on an F1 or F2 student visa only, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only, or G series visas (pertaining to international organizations), you can’t get federal student aid.

Cost of Attendance

The total amount it will cost a student to go to school (includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation costs, and personal expenses). View our Tuition and Costs page for current information.

Cohort Default Rate

The cohort default rate is the percentage of federal student loan borrowers who default on their federal student loans within 3 years of leaving NUNM. NUNM’s most current default rate is for academic year ending 2020 at 0.0%.


Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to when the promissory note was signed. In some cases, a default can be avoided by submitting a request for deferment, forbearance, or cancellation with the appropriate documentation.


Relying on another for support or aid. If you are considered dependent on your parents, their income and assets, as well as your own, must be reported when applying for federal student aid. 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, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse. Not living with your parents does not automatically classify you as an independent.

Eligible Program

The course of study that leads to a degree or certificate that meets the US Department of Education’s requirements for an eligible program.

Endowed Scholarships

Endowed scholarships have been established by alumni, friends of the University, and organizations for the purpose of providing support to deserving students. Criteria for receiving named scholarships vary and interested students can visit the scholarship page for more information.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid. The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law, and can be found at or

Federal Aid

Programs include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study Program. FAFSA is required and NUNM may have restrictions on certain aid programs based on funding.

Federal Direct Loans

Direct loans are available at certain universities – NUNM is one of these universities. Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct PLUS (for parents or graduate students) are available.

Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).  Parents of dependent students are required to have an FSA ID in order to complete and sign the FAFSA.  For more detailed information visit this FSA ID information page.

Federal Student Loan Ombudsman

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, and Perkins Loans. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study provides jobs for graduate and undergraduate students with financial needs, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid comes in two forms: gift aid and self-help aid. Gift aid includes grants and scholarships, which are direct awards, and repayment is not required. Self-help aid includes loans and work opportunities. Loans are usually guaranteed and offered at low interest; repayment is usually due after the student leaves college. The University provides work opportunities under the Federal Work-Study Program and the Student Employment Program (STEP) for international students. All forms of aid are awarded on an annual basis. Students are responsible for reapplying each year.

Financial Aid Package

The total amount of financial aid (federal and non-federal) a student receives.

Financial Need

Cost of attendance of an institution minus estimated family contribution equals financial need.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The form is necessary to determine family contribution and offer a financial aid package. All students seeking aid must file this federal form.

Gift Aid

Grants and scholarships.


Relying on yourself for support or aid. If you are independent, report only your own income and assets (and those of your spouse if you are married). Not living with your parents does not automatically classify you as an independent. 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, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse. (See also: Dependent)


A student who has been accepted and is pursuing a degree at NUNM.

Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG)

The Oregon Opportunity Grant program was created by the Oregon State Legislature to help needy Oregon students attend Oregon colleges. Oregon residents (for at least one year before applying for aid) who attend the National University of Natural Medicine may be eligible to receive an Oregon Opportunity Grant. These grants are awarded on the basis of financial need, based upon the information provided on your FAFSA. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive an Oregon Opportunity Grant.

Origination Fee

An origination fee is a fee paid to the government or lender to compensate for administering the loan. This fee is charged usually when the loan is disbursed – take this into consideration when applying for the amount for the loan. Origination fees can be up to 4% or more of the loan amount.


Since NUNM considers 12 credits full-time for undergraduate students, part-time undergraduate students must be enrolled for 6 credits per term (quarter). A graduate student is considered full-time with 11 credit hours* (*depends on the program of enrollment) and part-time with 5.5 credit hours per term (quarter).

Promissory Note

A legal document, the promissory note outlines the terms under which you’re borrowing money and an agreement that details how you are going to pay back the loan. Master Promissory notes are commonly seen with federal direct loan programs, alternative loans, and other loan programs.

Satisfactory Academic Process

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, satisfactory academic progress toward a degree much be maintained. Details of NUNM’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available by accessing the above hyperlink.

Selective Service Registration

Registration is required by males born on or after January 1, 1960, who are at least 18-years-old, and not currently on active duty in the US Armed Forces. You must register with Selective Service to receive federal student aid. You may register online here.

Self-Help Aid

Job opportunities (federal work-study and institutional employment opportunities for students) and loans.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

The SAR report lists your EFC and assists schools in determining the aid you qualify for. Please review this report for accuracy to ensure that you are being considered for all the aid you are eligible for.

University-Sponsored Scholarships

University scholarships are offered to eligible students upon admission and are available to matriculated students in applicable programs.  The scholarships are administered by both the Office of Admissions (new students) and the Center for Career Development & Alumni Services (matriculated students).  Students interested in being considered for need-based scholarships must submit a FAFSA form.