Admissions & Financial Aid Glossary    

    ACT: a standardized college admissions test that is an alternative to the SAT; pronounce as individual letters as opposed to what your student does when ask them to clean their room; it has 4 sections: English, mathematics, reading and science and an optional writing portion

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT or AP: A high school course that is college level curriculum that is coordinated with the College Board; students have the option of taking an AP exam at the end of the course to potentially earn college credit.

    AWARD LETTER: Financial aid definition for the document sent to a prospective student that indicates the amount and type of aid to be offered to the student

    CLASS RANK: Your student’s placement in their class by grade point average (GPA)

    COMMON APPLICATION: A standardized application form accepted by more than 350 colleges; some college also require supplemental school specific information

    COST OF EDUCATION: Financial aid terminology for total educational costs, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, incidentals, and travel to and from home

    DEMONSTRATED NEED: Financial aid terminology for the difference between the total cost of education and the expected family contribution to the student’s education

    DIVISION I, II, and III: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) groupings of colleges for purposes of athletic competition

    EARLY ACTION (EA): An application option that typically allows a student to apply by November 1 or November 15 and receive a decision by December 15 that does not bind the student to attend if admitted

    EARLY DECISION (ED): An application option that typically allows a student to apply by November 1 or November 15 and receive a decision by December 15 that commits the student to attend if admitted

    EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC): Financial aid terminology for the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to a student’s education based on methodology that considers income, assets, and other expenses; this is determined by the US government

    FAFSA: Abbreviation for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid such as the Pell Grant

    GIFT AID: Financial aid terminology for the grant portion of the financial aid package that does not have to be repaid or earned through work

    GPA: Abbreviation for grade point average; an overall average of a student’s grades

    GRANTS: Financial assistance that does not require a student to repay whatever the amount may be

    LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION: An academic program that includes the sciences, social sciences, languages, arts, and mathematics, as distinguished  from professional or vocational programs that focus on training for specific careers such as engineering, business and nursing

    NEED –AWARE ADMISSIONS: Admissions process that considers a student’s ability to pay in the final admissions decision

    NEED-BLIND ADMISSIONS: Practice of reviewing an applicant’s file and making an admissions decision without regard to the student’s ability to pay

    PELL GRANT: A federal grant to students from low-income families

    PSAT: Abbreviation for Preliminary SAT; a shorter version of the SAT that is taken in the fall of the high school junior year as practice for the SAT AND as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program

    REGULAR DECISION: The application process that involves applying by a late fall or early winter deadline in exchange for an admissions decision the following spring

    ROLLING DECISION: A process by which college review and make admissions decisions on applications as they are received

    SAT: A widely taken standardized test for college admissions; it is not an acronym and is pronounced by speaking each letter instead of what you did when you were in a chair; it contains three parts: writing, critical reading and math; it’s new total score is 2400, but it is widely accepted by universities to only review a student based upon a 1600 score of which contains the critical reading and math scores

    STAFFORD LOANS: Low-interest loans to students

    SUBSIDIZED LOAN: A loan for which the US government pays the interest while the student is enrolled in school

    TRANSCRIPT: Official record of a student’s courses and grades; colleges usually require an official transcript meaning the transcript is sent directly from the high school as part of the application

    WAIT LIST: A group of students held in reserve through the late spring after a college makes its admissions decisions.  If opening occur students on the wait-list may be offered admission

    WORK STUDY: A component of need based financial aid in which the student works part-time in a campus job that is supported by government or institutional funding