Admissions Terms You Need To Know
ACT TEST: A three-hour admissions exam that encompasses a wide range of classroom-based information.
AP COURSE: An Advanced Placement (AP) class is a college-level course offered at your high school that can provide you with college credit when you enter your freshman year.
AP EXAM: An exam you can take upon completing an Advanced Placement class in high school. Many colleges grant credits based on AP test scores.
AWARD PACKAGE:This refers to the kind of financial aid (scholarships and loans) a school is willing and able to offer you.
COMMON APPLICATION: A general college application that students may use to apply to any of the approximately 350 schools that accept it.
EARLY ACTION: A type of admissions process that allows students to apply early to a school, usually by November 1, and receive a decision earlier, usually in mid-December.
EARLY DECISION: Similar to early action, but those who apply early decision to a school and are accepted must withdraw all other applications and enroll in that college; early decision is binding.
FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All students interested in receiving some form of financial aid for college must complete this form.
IB COURSE: The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year curriculum for high school students, similar in form and outcome as the AP program. Juniors and seniors take six courses in various subjects, providing them with college credit at some colleges and universities.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: The essay portion of a college application that typically asks you to explain why and how you’re unique. Most colleges provide an open-ended question for students to answer.
PSAT: A standardized test that provides students with firsthand practice for the SAT. The PSAT is usually taken in your sophomore year.
RECOMMENDATION: A letter you obtain from a teacher on your behalf, explaining why you make a good candidate; most applications require three recommendation letters.
SAT: A three-hour-and-forty-five-minute admission exam composed of critical reading, math and writing sections. It differs from the ACT in that it tends to measure a student’s aptitude for reasoning and math skills, rather than specific information learned.
SAT SUBJECT TESTS: These tests assess your knowledge and skills in a particular subject area. While some colleges request certain Subject Tests for admission or placement, other schools allow applicants to choose which tests they take.
SCHOLARSHIP: An amount of money or other aid granted to a student- because of merit or need-to pursue a college education.
WAIT LIST: A list of applicants to a college who haven’t been accepted or denied. If openings develop, the college may offer admission to some of the students on the wait list.
WORK-STUDY: Based on financial need, the Federal Work-Study program provides part-time employment to students to help with college expenses. Non-federal work-study is not based on financial need, and availability varies by school.