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ASSOCIATES DEGREE A degree obtained over a two-year course of study,

most often done at a community or junior college
BACHELORS DEGREE A degree obtained in the completion of an
undergraduate program; it usually takes around 4 years to complete
CERTIFICATES A certification obtained after the mastery over a narrow subject area
or topicusually found within the trade industry; programs vary, but are usually around 1-2
years to complete
COLLEGE College is defined as a degree or certificate completed after high school
COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY An essay that a college requires
students to write and submit as part of their application. Some colleges offer applicants specific
questions to answer, while others simply ask applicants to write about themselves. Colleges may
refer to this as a personal statement.
COLLEGE CREDIT What you get when you successfully complete a college-level
course. You need a certain number of credits to graduate with a degree.
COMMON APPLICATION A standard application form accepted by all
colleges that are members of the Common Application association. You can fill out this
application once and submit it to any one or several of the nearly 700 colleges that accept
COMMUNITY COLLEGE a Junior college established to serve a specific
community and is often supported by local governmentsmost community colleges have open
admission and offer associate degrees, certificate programs, and have several transfer agreements
in place
CREDIT HOUR A credit hour is a unit of measuring educational credit, which is
usually based on the number of hours per week spent in the classroom
DEFERRED ADMISSION Permission from a college that has accepted you to
postpone enrolling in the college. The postponement is usually for up to one year.
DEFFERED ADMISSIONS DECISION A decision made by a college to
reconsider an admissions decision at a later datethis does not mean you are rejected, but also
does not mean you are admittedoften schools that defer will request fall semester grades
EARLY ACTION An option to submit your applications before the regular deadlines.
When you apply early action, you get admission decisions from colleges earlier than usual. Early
action plans are not binding, which means that you do not have to enroll in a college if you are
accepted early action.
EARLY DECISION An option to submit an application to your first-choice college
before the regular deadline. When you apply early decision, you get an admission decision
earlier than usual. Early decision plans are binding. You agree to enroll in the college
immediately if admitted and offered a financial aid package that meets your needs.

FAFSA FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid this form is
required to receive any financial aid from any institution even if you dont expect to receive any
financial aid from the federal government. Filling out the FAFSA is the most important thing
after submitting an initial application to college
FEE WAIVER Most all colleges will grant students the ability to waive their application
fee if they can express financial need to do so. Not being able to afford an application should
never stop a student from applying to college.
FEES Mandatory fees deemed by the college that are included in the price of attendance
FERPA The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law which protects
the privacy of student educational records. These rights transfer to the student upon their 18th
birthday and parents will be only allowed access to student information upon the student signing
a waiver
FINANCIAL AID Money given or loaned to you to help pay for college. Financial aid
can come from federal and state governments, colleges, and private organizations.
FIRST GENERATION STUDENT This term is used to refer to students
who are the first in their immediate family to attend college: students whose parents have not
attended a post-secondary educational institution.
FSA ID A username and password used to login to the FAFSA
designed to help your college student receive a broad education with at least a general
background in several areas. Students are often required to take one or two courses in several
different departments outside of their major.
GPA Grade Point average, this is a way of calculating a students overall grade average
many colleges use this to understand how students generally perform
GPA CUTOFFS Most colleges will list the average GPA of their current incoming
freshman class, this is mostly used so prospective students can understand generally how
students at that university performrarely do college have a cutoff point where no student will
be admitted below a certain GPA
GRACE PERIOD The six month period after completion of a degree where students
are not required to make loan payments.
GRANTS Grants are another way to pay for college, they are free money that is used to
pay for college, sometimes you must apply for grants, sometimes they are awarded based on
financial need expressed via the FAFSA
IN-STATE TUITION Public universities receive funding from individual state
governments so students having residency in the same state usually have a tuition that is less than
an out-of-state studentmost private schools do not have a difference in tuition as they do not
receive state funding
LEGACY A college applicant with a relative who graduate from that same college
LIBERAL ARTS A Liberal Arts education is one that provides an overview of the arts,
humanities, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. Studying liberal arts encourages
students to see connections across many disciplines and is a holistic approach to education.
LOANS Money that is borrowed either from the federal government or a private lender that
is paid back with interest
MAJOR An academic major is a discipline or area of study in which a student chooses to
specialize. Majors can be changed and do not need to be declared upon entering college
MEAL PLAN Some colleges will require to have a meal plan; a pre-paid account for
meals whilst at collegethis is included in the price of attendance
MINOR a secondary field of interest after a students major. Minors usually require several
courses in an area, but fewer courses than a major.
NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT Any student that starts college more than
one year after leaving high school
OPEN ADMISSION also called Open Enrollment or Inclusive Admission, generally
means that the admission process is unselective and non-competitive. The only criteria for
admission is a high school diploma or GED certificate. Open Admission is most often found in
community colleges.
PARENT-PLUS LOAN a student loan offered to parents of students enrolled at
least half time, or graduate and professional students, at participating and eligible post-secondary
institutions. Parents are accountable for the loan and cannot be transferred to the student at any
PELL GRANT A Pell Grant is money the government provides for students who need it
to pay for college. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Eligible students receive a
specified amount each year under this program. About one-third of undergraduate students
received a Pell Grant in 2015-16.
PLACEMENT TEST Tests that measure the academic skills needed for college-
level work. They cover reading, writing, math and sometimes other subjects. Placement test
results help determine what courses you are ready for and whether you would benefit from
development education classes.
PRE-REQUISITE Pre-requisites are courses that students are required to take prior to
registering for an upper level course. Some courses may have no pre-requisites and some
courses may have several introductory level courses required before the student may take them.
PRICE OF ATTENDANCE Price of attendance is the total amount of money it
would cost to attend a particular college for one academic year. It depends on the college or
program, but it usually includes tuition, fees, and room and board. It can also include the price of
books and other expenses.
PRIVATE COLLEGE An independent school that receives no funding from the
federal or state government, usually have a smaller student body, sometimes has a larger sticker
PRIVATE LOANS Private loans are taken out through a private borrower company
usually at a higher interest than Stafford Loans
PROSPECTIVE STUDENT A student that is interested in a particular college
and might apply/attend a certain college
PUBLIC UNIVERSITY Is mostly funded through the government in one way or
another, public universities usually have a larger student body
REGISTRAR The college Registrar is the person or office ultimately responsible for
maintaining the permanent academic record for each student.
RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE A college that requires students to live in campus
housing for at least a part of their college career
ROLLING ADMISSION An admission policy of considering each application as
soon as all required information (such as high school records and test scores) has been received,
rather than setting an application deadline and reviewing applications in a batch.
ROOM AND BOARD Room and board is the expense of living on campus with a
meal-plan, most universities require freshman to utilize their freshman year. This is included in
the price of attendance.
SAT the College Boards standardized college admission test. It features three main sections:
math, reading and writing, which includes a written essay. Most colleges use the SAT score in the
college decision process
SCHOLARSHIPS Scholarships are free money given usually after one has applied
for it. There are several different kinds of scholarships based on academic performance, athletics,
financial need, or specific interests
STAFFORD LOANS Stafford Loans are loans granted by the federal government
usually done through a borrower companythere are two types: subsidized and unsubsidized
loans. Students are not required to make payments on their loans while in school, but can if they
want to lower interest payments.
STICKER PRICE The price of attendance before scholarships or loans are applied.
More often than not, the sticker price is rarely paid, but can scare students and parents offit is
important to look at the price of attendance after financial aid has been applied as some schools
that have a larger sticker price could actually be a students most affordable option.
SUBSIDIZED LOANS Subsidized loans are loans granted through the federal
government. The interest on subsidized loans are paid by the government while the student is
attending school.
TECHNICAL PROGRAMS Programs that have a focus in employment-
preparation skills for trained labor. Usually come with certificate or associate degrees.
TRANSCRIPT A students transcript is the official, permanent record of the courses
taken, grades earned, honors earned and diplomas earned by their high school.

TRANSFER AGREEMENT Transfer agreements are preexisting agreements

that are formed between two institutions so that students can transfer between two institutions
TUITION Tuition is the price of classes which covers the cost of teaching and credits
UNDERGRADUATE A student working toward an associate or bachelors degree
UNSUBSIDIZED LOANS Unsubsidized loans are loans granted through the
federal government. Interest accrues from the initial start of the borrowing period.
UPWARD TREND A trend wherein a students grades improve greatly in their last
two years of high school
WAITING LIST A list of applicants who may be admitted to a college if space
becomes available
WEIGHTED GPA a GPA thats calculated using a system that assigns a higher point
value to grades in more-difficult classes.
WORK STUDY This is offered within the initial financial aid package where a student
can earn this money through a part-time on-campus job. Money is earned in a regular pay-check
format, this money is not automatically applied to the students account.