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Accreditation- recognition of a college or university by any of the regional or national accrediting bodies, indicating that the institution as a whole has been judged to be meeting its objectives.


Advanced Placement- Granting credit and/or assignment to an advanced course on the basis of evidence that a student has mastered the equivalent of an introductory course.


Associates Degree- granted after satisfactory completion of a two-year program.


Bachelors Degree- granted after satisfactory completion of a four-year program.



Quarter- academic year is divided into four parts.

Semester- academic year is divided into two parts.

Trimester- the academic year is divided into three parts

4-1-4- two four-month terms and a one-month “inter” session


Candidates Reply Date- May 1, the deposit deadline for most schools using the regular admission system.


Class Rank- is a rating that compares your cumulative grade point average to other members of your class.  Class rank is often used as a college admissions and scholarship standard.


College Transfer Courses- Courses intended for transfer of college credit to bachelor’s degree programs elsewhere.


Community College- a two-year college established by a state government: generally the tuition is low and the education of good quality.


Credit by Examination- A program through which many colleges grant course credit based on results of the Advanced Placement Test (AP), the CEEB College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Regents College Examinations (RCE), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), or another examination developed by colleges.


Credit Hour- a unit of academic credit that often represents on hour of class time per week for a period of study (semester, quarter, etc).


Deferred Admission- permits an accepted student to postpone enrollment for a year or more.


Early Action- student applies early, if accepted student need not accept the admission offer prior to May 1.


Early Decision- student applies to first choice of school.  If accepted, the student must withdraw all applications from other schools and is ethically bound to attend this school.  Students not accepted under Early Decision are often added to the regular pool of applicants.


Elective- is a course students may select to meet total graduation requirements.


Expected Family Contribution- the amount that your family is expected to contribute toward your education.  The amount is similar for different colleges, even though the colleges’ costs vary.


Fee Waiver- permits eligible students to submit college applications or test registration forms without the fee.  A limited number are available through guidance counselors and educational agencies.


Financial Aid Package/Award- a combination of grants/scholarships, loans and work-study that the college is able to offer you to meet your financial need.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)- The application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid. Obtain a FAFSA form from Student services or college for the appropriate year (usually available in December).  The FAFSA is processed free of charge, and is used by most state agencies and colleges.


Grade Point Average (GPA)- An indicator of a student’s overall scholastic performance.  The GPA is computed by multiplying the number of grade points earned in each course (generally, A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) times the number of course hours/credit hours, then dividing the sum by the total number of course hours/credit hours taken.


Graduation Requirements- are established by your local school district and must include state standards.


Grants- Awards based on financial need that do not require repayment.  Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies, and educational institutions.


Liberal Arts- a degree program consisting of study in the areas of arts, natural sciences and humanities.


Major- the subject of study in which a student chooses to specialize: a series of related courses, taken primarily in the junior and senior years.


NCAA Initial- Eligibility Certification- In order to participate in intercollegiate sports at NCAA Division I and Division II colleges, student athletes must submit their high school transcript, the Clearinghouse “Student Release Form” and ACT/SAT scores to the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.  When Registering for either test, students should enter “9999” as one of the college choices to have test scores sent to the Clearinghouse.


Open Admissions-Virtually all high school graduates are admitted, regardless of academic qualifications.


Prerequisite- is a course that must be taken before enrollment in another related course.  (Spanish 1 is a prerequisite for Spanish 2).


Profile- used by colleges, universities, and scholarships to award their own private funds.


Regular Admission- This is the most common option offered to students, a deadline is set when all applications must be received, and all notifications are sent out at the same time.


Required Elective- is a course students may select to meet a graduation requirement.


Rolling Admission- The College accepts student who meet the academic requirements on a first-come, first-served basis until it fills its freshman class.  No strict application deadline is specified.  Applications are reviewed and decisions are made immediately (usually within 2-3 weeks).


Student Aid Report (SAR)- Information received approximately 3-6 weeks after your FAFSA has been processed.  It reports the information from student applications and, if there are no questions or problems with an application, the SAR reports the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).


Transcript- The official record of high school or college courses and grades generally required as part of the college application.


Wait List- a term used by institutions to describe a process by which they may initially delay offering or denying admission.  Instead, the institution extends the possibility of admission in the future.  Colleges offer admission to wait list candidates if insufficient numbers of regularly admitted candidates accept their offers of admission.


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