The academic year is a standardized measure that affects a number of federal student aid functions, including definitions of eligible programs and payment periods. It is expressed as a minimum number of credit or clock hours accrued over a minimum number of weeks of instructional time. “Academic year” is not to be confused with other measures of time, such as award year (July 1 – June 30), federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), or academic calendar (dates set by school).
Related terms: Program Eligibility; Payment Period
Overview of the Financial Aid Programs Self-Study Guide (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)