• Glossary of Terms


    Admissions Counselor- A representative from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions who assists prospective students through the admissions process

    AP or Advanced Placement- A college equivalent course taken in high school that offers a student the opportunity to earn college credit upon passing the exam given in May of each year. See each college’s AP exam credit list.
    Assets- Items of value such as stocks, bonds, savings, real estate.
    Associate Degree- A degree granted after a satisfactory completion of a full time, two year program of study, or its part time equivalent.
    Bachelor's Degree- A degree granted after the satisfactory completion of a full time, four or five year program of study, or its part time equivalent.
    CSS Profile- The College Scholarship Service Profile by the College Board created to assist colleges and scholarships in measuring a family’s financial situation.
    Common Application   An undergraduate college admission application that can be filled out once and used to apply to over 600 colleges and universities.  Many colleges and universities require supplements.  www.commonapp.org.
    Core Curriculum- The general education classes students are required to complete in a particular major or concentration.
    Cost of Attendance COA- The calculated cost of attending a college. Includes tuition, fees, room, board, and estimated cost of books, supplies, transportation and other expenses.  Part of the factors used to determine eligibility for financial aid.
    Credit Hour- A unit of measurement given to a student for completing an academic course. Typically 3 to 4 credit hours per course.
    Default- When the borrower fails to make scheduled loan payments.
    Deferred Admission   Admitted but delayed or deferred enrollment for a year or a semester (or if Early, to Regular Decision).
    Deferred to Regular Decision An Early Action application that has been moved to the Regular Decision application pool.
    Early Action   (EA)  Students apply early (usually by November 1st) and receive a decision early (usually by January 1st). It is not binding. Students have until May 1st to accept or decline. Early Action may be deferred to Regular Decision.
    Early Decision  (ED)  Students use to indicate to a university or college that they are their top choice. The application deadline is usually in October/early November and the decision is usually in mid-December.  It is binding; the offer is automatically accepted and the student is committed to enroll.
    EFC- Expected Family Contribution is the yearly amount of financial support a family is expected to contribute toward a child’s college education.
    Financial Aid Package- The total amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive from a college or university's financial aid office. It may include grants, work study and/or loans.
    Financial need- the amount by which your family contribution falls short of covering the COA- Cost of Attendance.
    FAFSA- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid- A financial application from the US Department of Education that must be completed by students and parents who apply for federal student aid. Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs that provide grants, loans and work study funds to students attending college or career schools.
    Graduate student- A student enrolled in a master's or doctoral program.
    Grant- Awards based on financial need that do not require payment.
    Interest- the cost of borrowing money. 
    January (Spring Term) Admission- Admission to begin at a university or college in the Spring Term
    Loan- Financial aid that must be repaid with interest.
    Merit Based Financial Aid- Awards based on academic or extracurricular merit.
    Need Based Financial Aid- Awards based on demonstrated financial need.
    Need Blind- When an admission decision is made without regard to a student’s financial aid request.
    Net Price Calculator (NPC)- An estimate of how much it may cost you to attend each college on that college's website.
    Open Admission- Colleges that offer admission to most students who apply.
    Principal- The loan amount borrowed on which interest is calculated.
    Regular Decision  (RD)- Students submit an application by a specified date (typically January) and receive a decision in late March or early April. Students have until May 1st to accept or decline the offer.
    Retention rate- The percentage of students who return to a college for their sophomore year.
    Rolling Admission  (RA)- Universities review applications and notify students of their decision within a few weeks of the submission.
    Student Aid Report (SAR)- Summarizes the information you included on the FAFSA and provides the EFC which is used to determine whether a student is eligible for federal aid.
    Scholarship- Awards based on merit and/or need that do not require repayment.
    Test Optional- Admissions decisions made without using the SAT or ACT.
    Transcript- Official record of high school and/or college courses and grades. 
    Unmet Need- The amount of need remaining after the EFC, grants, and self help are subtracted from the COA.
    Wait List- Not formally admitted, but admission may be offered in the next few months. 
Last Modified on December 8, 2015