Terms and Definitions

Cost of Attendance (COA)
The approximate total amount it may cost a student to attend a college. This can include tuition, room, boards, fees, travel, books, personal and other miscellaneous charges. The COA is determined by the college and every college is different.

Dependent Student
If you do not meet the terms of the Independent Student, you are considered a dependent by federal guidelines.

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan

Freshmen may receive $3,500; sophomores $4,500; juniors and seniors $5,500. The interest rate is set each July 1st but cannot exceed 8.25 percent. The Student Financial Services Office will provide Promissory Notes. This loan is based on federal eligibility. Interest begins to accrue, and repayment begins six months after the student graduates or stops attending at least half-time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan

A federal student loan that offers a fixed interest rate and flexible repayment options and is not based on financial need. Interest begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed and can be paid while the borrower is in school or when repayment begins. Annual and aggregate limits apply.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

A federal loan that the parent(s) of a dependent undergraduate student can use to help pay for educational expenses. A credit check for adverse credit history is required for eligibility and interest begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed. Payments can be made while the student is still in school, or when repayment begins.

Federal Need
Federal need is determined by taking the COA and subtracting a student’s SAI. The federal need helps determine the student’s financial aid package.

Federal Pell Grant

A federal grant program designed to assist undergraduate students from low- and moderate-income households to pay for educational expenses. This grant does not need to be repaid.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

A federal grant provided by the institution to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and does not need to be repaid. The award can range from $200 to $4,000 per year.

Federal Work-Study
Federal program that provides eligible students with part time employment. Students are paid directly. Students have the ability to complete a payroll deduction form to have a portion or all of their work-study paycheck applied to their student account.

Francis F. Bartlett, Jr. Scholarship Fund

This scholarship will be awarded to either an incoming first-year student who is in the top half of their high school class or to a returning student with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50.

Full Time Student
As an undergraduate, a student must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester to be considered full time.

Independent Student
In order for a student to be considered an independent student, the student must be able to answer “Yes” to at least one of the following:

  • Will you be 24 years of age as of January 1 of the academic year?
  • Are you enrolled in a graduate program? (You must have already received a bachelor’s degree)
  • Do you have children or other dependents you support?
  • Are you married?
  • Are you a Veteran of the US Armed Forces?
  • Are you an orphan or ward of the court?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship?
  • Have you been determined to be an unaccompanied homeless youth, or at risk of homelessness?

Legacy Scholarship

Renewable scholarship of $1000 ($500 per semester) for any new student that has had a parent, sibling (step relatives included), or grandparent graduate from Thomas College. This scholarship is renewable for up to a maximum of four years of continuous undergraduate study.

Lunder Scholarship Award

Lunder Scholars Endowment Fund will be made annually as need-based financial aid grants. First preference will be given to any former Dexter Shoe Company employee and their children; second preference will be for eligible Maine residents.

Merit Scholarships

Renewable scholarships that are awarded to full-time undergraduate students and do not need to be repaid. The Admissions Committee will review students’ information at the time of acceptance to determine the level of the scholarship. For more information, please visit Undergraduate Scholarships – Thomas College – Maine

Outside Scholarship
A scholarship that comes from a source other than the federal or state government or institution. Outside scholarships may affect a student’s eligibility for other grants and scholarships.

Private Loan
Loans that are designed specifically for students enrolled in college generally from a bank, credit union, private company, or state-affiliated lender. Terms differ between lending institutions, but most offer deferred principal payments while student is enrolled in a college. Interest begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
In order to continue receiving financial aid from one year to the next, a student must maintain SAP. For more information, please visit Thomas-College-Course-Catalog-2023-2024-9-7-2023.pdf

State Grant Programs

Students who are residents of Maine and are enrolled in a degree-granting post-secondary private college may be eligible to receive a grant from the Maine State Grant Program. Students must demonstrate financial need each year and submit a FAFSA by May 1. In addition, students attending Thomas College who are residents of Vermont and Rhode Island may also receive funds from their State grant programs.

Student Aid Index (SAI)

The SAI is the index used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional need-based financial aid. The SAI is based on information provided by the student and their family on the FAFSA.

Thomas College Esports Scholarship

Renewable, need-based, scholarship of up to $5,000 ($2,500 per semester) for select students participating in Thomas College Esports. Scholarships are determined at the time of admission by the Esports Head Coach and Senior Director of Student Financial Services. Students who receive this scholarship must be enrolled full-time and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.

Thomas College Grant

The Thomas College Grant is an institutional grant used to fill a partial need gap after federal and state aid has been awarded.  Students must complete the FAFSA, be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, and be enrolled at least half-time to be considered for the grant.  Thomas College Grant may be adjusted based on outside scholarship assistance received by the student.  Graduate students are not eligible for Thomas College Grant.

Undergraduate Student
A student who is enrolled in an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program.


A federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided on the FAFSA by randomly selected individuals. To complete the verification process, the student, their parent(s), or spouse, are required to provide certain documents to student financial services for review. If the documents do not match the FAFSA, verification can result in changes to the student’s financial aid eligibility and/or financial aid award.

Veterans’ Assistance Thomas College is listed as an approved college by the State Approving Agency for Veterans’ Education Programs for eligible veterans and dependents. Active and retired military, National Guard and reservists, and veterans are encouraged to become degree students.