ACADEMIC CALENDAR: This calendar shows how a school-year is divided. Generally the options are...

  • 2 semesters that last about 17-18 weeks

  • 3 trimesters that usually last about 12 weeks each.

  • 4 quarters that last about 10.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION:  All coursework and other Academic and school experiences that a student takes during his or her high school career to prepare for college work.

ACCEPTANCE LETTER: A formal acknowledgment (letter) from a college that a student has been admitted. Acceptance notification is often sent initially by email.

ACCOMMODATIONS: If the the Services for Students with Disabilities departments for College Board (SAT and Subject Tests) and ACT,  determine that you are eligible, you may receive one or more of the following accommodations: extended time, larger print test booklets, permission to bring snacks or mediation to the test site, extra breaks, sign-language interpreter, Braille edition of a test, audiocassette version of a test, a reader to read a test, a writer to record student responses.  These are generally based on a students IEP.

ACT: A standardized assessment test issued by the American College Test Program. It is divided into four parts: English use, mathematics, social science reading, and science reasoning. The score range is 1-36. There is an optional writing section.  universities for admissions. It consists of four parts: English, math, reading, and science reasoning. This exam (along with the SAT) is required by most colleges)  

ADMISSION - Acceptance for enrollment

ADMISSIONS DECISION: Colleges will usually reply::

  • Accept

  • Deny

  • Defer -your Early Decision or Early Action application has not been accepted or denied so your application will be reviewed again in the Regular Decision pool of applicants

  • Wait-list - You may be offered admission by the college at a later date, if space becomes available later. This is often used by very selective colleges and there is no guarantee of acceptance.

  • Admit/Deny - Your application has been accepted by the admissions committee, but you have been denied any financial aid.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) COURSES: AP classes are considered college-level courses given in high schools in the USA and Canada. National exams given in May are graded on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high). Some colleges will give college credit or placement in higher courses if you earn a high score on an AP test (3 or higher)  This all depends on the individual policies of the college or department.  

AP SCHOLAR -A title given to students who have taken 3 or more AP exams for which they have received 3 or higher on full-year courses.

  • AP Scholar with Honor - Given to students who have taken 4 or more AP exams on full-years course for which they have received a 3.25 on all exams taken.

  • AP Scholar with Distinction - Given to students who have taken 5 or more AP Exams on full-year courses for which they have received an average grade of 3.5 on all exams taken.

  • National AP Scholar - Given to students in the U.S. who receive an average score of 4 or more on all AP exams taken and a score of 4 or higher on 5 or more o these exams.

ALUMNI (plural) ALUMNA (female singular), ALUMNUS (male singular)
Graduates/graduate of an educational institution.  This can refer to a high school, college, or university

ARTS & SCIENCES:  This is the liberal arts division of the college (usually the largest division). Liberal arts are not engineering, business, pharmacy, or nursing. They consist of the humanities; physical, life, and natural sciences; math; and social science disciplines. Many students apply to the arts and sciences division.

ASSOCIATE OF ARTS (AA) - A two-year college degree given by community colleges after a specific course of study has been completed.

AUDIT - To attend a class, but not take tests or receive grades or credit. You must still register for this class and sometimes a fee is required.

return to top


Bachelor's Degree Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) -  This is a college degree given by an undergraduate college or university after a student successfully completes a specified course of study, usually in four years.



return to top


CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP FEDERATION (CSF) - Membership in California Scholarship Federation (CSF) is based on grades earned the previous semester (A=3 points, B=1, AP B=2). To qualify, students must earn 10 points from specific courses and return an application (which can be obtained from the high school counseling office), copy of the report card, and $2 to the counseling office within the first two weeks of each semester. If the student is a member of CSF four times, including once in the senior year, he/she will be recognized as a Gold Seal Bearer at graduation. It is important to adhere to deadlines as retroactive applications will not be accepted.

CALIFORNIA STATE APPLICATIONS – Application for admission to a campus of the Cal State system are available online from October 1, until November 30 of each year. A student must go online to complete the California State Application. A student can apply to several of the 23 state schools at one time, however they must meet a specified GPA and test score requirement.  The requirements vary for each state school. No essays or teacher recommendations are required.

CANDIDATE'S REPLY DATE - May l has been is the date by which all students must make a commitment to the SINGLE college he or she will attend in the fall.  Deposits must be sent in by this time.

CEEB - The six-digit high school code most colleges may ask for is called a CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) code. Click here to find your school's code.

CLASS RANK - How a student stands among his or her classmates according to GPA.  Not all high schools provide this.

COLLEGE - Colleges provide a liberal education to students in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. Colleges primarily grant undergraduate degrees. Usually, Colleges are small to medium sized with fewer than 5,000 students.

COLLEGE BOARD - This is the agency that administers the SAT, SAT Subject tests, and AP exams.

COLLEGE FAIR - A large gathering of college admissions representatives who are available to speak with prospective applicants.  The college fairs are usually sponsored by the National Association of College Admission Counseling in different locations throughout the US.

COLLEGE INTERVIEW - An interview for college can last from 15 minutes to an hour.  This is a meeting between an admissions representative (college official, alumnus or alumna) of a college and a prospective student in order to exchange information, ask and answer questions, and sometimes to evaluat a student's qualifications.

COLLEGE LIST - A list of between 8 and 12 colleges or more that match a student's academic background, in addition to his or her intellectual, personal, social, emotional, financial, spiritual and other needs and wishes.

COLLEGE PREPARATORY (college prep) CLASSES - These are courses offered by high schools that meet required or recommended subject requirements necessary for admission to colleges.

COLLEGE RANKINGS - Based on various criteria, this is how colleges measure up against one another. Several organizations such as US News & World Report and others report college rankings each year.

COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVE  (COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR) - Many colleges send admission counselors to high schools to promote their schools and introduce their programs to prospective students. These presentations are important to attend to learn details about specific colleges and programs.  The counselor is usually assigned to a particular high school, city , or geographic region and so is often the first admissions official to read a student's application.  

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP SERVICES PROFILE(CSS) - This is the division of the College Board that is responsible for the PROFILE and the financial needs analysis that determines the family's contribution toward payment of a student's education.  Many schools use this in addition to the FAFSA

COMMON APPLICATION (The Common App) - The Common Application is a form that can be used to apply to more than 400 colleges and universities. college applicants need to fill out only one main form which is sent to the chosen colleges. The Supplemental Section is the part of the Common Application in which colleges can ask specific questions relevant to their school.  There is a separate application fee for each college that a student applies to.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE  - This is a two-year college that offers both vocational programs, as well as transfer programs which allow a student to transfer to a four-year college.

COMMUTER COLLEGE - A two year or 4 year non-residential college.

CONSORTIUM- An arrangement between two or more schools for the sharing of faculties, facilities, and/or programs. Example Claremont colleges: Claremont McKenna, Pomona, Pitzer, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer.

CO-OPERATIVE PROGRAMS (CO-OPS) - These are programs offered by some colleges which offeron-the-job training programs related to a student's college major. See internships.

CORE CURRICULUM - This is a specific set of required courses that students in a college or university must take and pass in order to graduate.

CREDIT (Semester, quarter, trimester hours)
A unit which represents one hour of class per week for one quarter, one semester or one trimester.

CROSS-REGISTRATION- A system where students who are enrolled at one institution may take courses at another institution without having to apply to that school.

CUMULATIVE RECORD / TRANSCRIPT - This is a complete record of all the courses a student has taken and grades received over the course of his or her high school career.

CURRICULUM - courses required for a specific degree or the sequence of material taught in a class or program.

return to top


DEFERRED ADMISSION: This refers to an admission plan that allows an accepted student to postpone (delay) entrance to a college for a year, while keeping a guarantee of enrollment. During that year the student may work or travel but may not enroll at another college. 

DEMONSTRATED INTEREST - This refers to both the quantity and quality of contact a student has with a college that indicates the student's likelihood to enroll if he or she be offered admission to the college.

DEMONSTRATED NEED - This is the financial aid assessment which is based on the cost of attending a college or university, minus the family's estimated contribution amount (usually determined either by the FAFSA or PROFILE).

DEPOSIT - An amount of money that a student must send to the college once he or she has been accepted. The deposit indicates that the student accepts the college's offer and will enroll.

DEFERRAL - When  colleges postpone making an admissions decision about an application until the regular admission cycle for a student who has sent in Early Action or Early Decision applications.

DENIAL OF ADMISSIONS LETTER -  A formal letter from a college stating that a student has not been admitted.

DISADVANTAGED STUDENT - A student who has not had access to the education, background, resources and services that many other students usually have.

DISTANCE LEARNING- A program of study in which a student takes college courses online by computer link or by video link with a traditional classroom.

DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS - Courses required by a college or university in order to graduate.

DOCTORAL DEGREE - This is the most advanced degree that can be earned, often referred to as PHD.

DUAL DEGREE- A program of study in which a student receives two degrees from the same institution.

return to top


EARLY ACTION -   This is a decision plan allowing students to apply to college early in the fall. The college responds with an admission decision usually by mid-December. It is different from Early Decision because Early Action is non-binding - which meany you can still apply to and consider other schools.

EARLY ACTION SINGLE CHOICE (a.k.a. Restricted Early Action)
A non-binding early admission option for freshman applicants offered by some colleges  in which a student may not apply to any other type of early action, early decision or early notification program. Candidates are asked to sign a statement along with their parents and high school counselor stating that they agree to file only one early application.

EARLY DECISION - : Early decision allows students to apply early (usually in November and/or January) and get an admission decision from the college before the standard notification date. This is binding. If a student is admitted under ED, he or she agrees to enroll at a particular college and to withdraw all other applications in process at other schools.

EARLY DECISION II (EDII) - A few colleges offer a second round of Early Decision with due dates in the first part of January and notification usually within six weeks. These are also binding contract programs. Again, students may also be denied or deferred.

EARLY NOTIFICATION: This admission plan promises an early reply to an early application. The student doea not have to attend that college, if accepted.

ELC (Eligibility in the Local Context)- This is a path to freshman eligibility at the University of California. Under ELC, the top 9 percent of students in each California high school class are designated UC-eligible based on completion of high school coursework and are guaranteed admission into one of the US colleges.

A high school or college course that a student may take as a choice, but which is not required to graduate.

EOP (Educational Opportunity Program)- An academic and economic support program for applicants who are under-represented minority and first-generation college students .

ETS - The Educational Testing Service is a nonprofit agency employed by the CEEB to produce the SAT and SAT subject tests.

EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC) -The amount of college costs a family is expected to pay for one year of college as determined by the FAFSA or PROFILE.

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES - Any formal or informal activities that students are involved in during high school in addition to their regular classes and home work.  These can includ sports, volunteer and/or paid work, hobbies, travel, artistic or musical interests, etc. either in or outside of school.

return to top


4-4-1 System- An academic calendar that consists of two semesters plus a short session for non-traditional study programs. The short session is sometimes called a May Term.

4-1-4 System- An academic calendar that consists of two semesters separated by a short intersession (usually in January).

FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.  This is available online and it must be submitted each year for a student to receive federal and state financial aid. It is usually completed in January or February

FEE WAIVER -This is an exemption given by a college to certain students from paying a college application fee.  Read each college application requirements to find out if it waives any fees.

FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE - The package informs the students about the amount of financial aid offered to a student by a college.  This may include scholarships, grants, loans, and a work-study job.

FIRST GENERATION - First person in your family to go to college

FRESHMEN - A student who has complete less than 30 hours of college credit.  Usually a 1st year student. 

return to top


GAP YEAR - A break in schooling that some students take between high school graduation and their first year of college.

GPA (Grade Point Average)- This is the translation of a student's letter grades into a numeric system. Usually: A=4, B=3, C=2. D=1.  Grades may be weighted for for AP's or some honors courses, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=1. 

GRANT - An amount of money given (rather than loaned or earned) to a student for a specified time of study or research. Certain grants are based on need, such as the federal Pell Grant and some state grants. Grants do not have to be paid back, but certain criteria must be met in order to be qualified for them.

GUARANTEED TUITION- A program that gives a guarantee to qualified students that their tuition for each following year of college will not increase above their first-year rate.

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (Core Curriculum) - A list of courses from various academic departments that a student must take in order to graduate. These are usually required during the first two years of college.

GRADUATE STUDENT - A student studying at a university for a post-undergraduate degree such as a Master's or Ph.D.

GREEK SYSTEM -This refers to fraternities and sororities on a college campus. The term, "Greek" comes from the Greek letters used as names for the organizations (e.g., Delta Gamma, Sigma Chi).

return to top



HARD-COPY - A  paper document or application application printed out - not online.

HBCU - Historically Black colleges and Universities.

HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE COUNSELOR (also called college counselor, guidance counselor, college adviser)
A school official who provides a variety of functions for students including scheduling classes, taking care of student disciplinary issues, college counseling, and completing  Secondary School Report forms for applications.

HONORS PROGRAM / COURSES - A program in high school or college for advanced students which enriches of the normal curriculum of a subject.

HSI - Hispanic Serving Institutions

HUMANITIES - These are courses offered in the study of art, philosophy, foreign languages, religion and literature.  Often they are reqired as part of a school's core curriculum

return to top


IEP (Individualized Educational Plan)- A document that outlines specific academic goals and strategies to enable a learning disabled student to successfully complete his or her courses. When a student has an IEP, he or she  is often able to receive accommodations on exams and assessments in college through the disabilities office.

IMPACTED MAJOR OR PROGRAM - This describes a college major or program that is so popular that requirements for being accepted into it may be more stringent or at a higher level than other majors. Majors that are often impacted are architecture, business, computer science, engineering, and nursing.  Whether a major is impacted or not depends on the individual college.

INDEPENDENT COUNSELORS - Private, paid counselors who provide high school students with admissions information, advice and coaching.

INSTANT DECISION - This is an admissions process in which colleges might invite seniors to send in their applications, visit the campus for a day, go through interviews, and at the end of the day receive an admissions decision.  This is not a common way for colleges to process admissions.

INTERDISCIPLINARY  MAJOR - This kind of major is often created by students in consultation with their advisors.  It is a combined major between similar or dissimilar departments such as a language and business, psychology and math, history and political science.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDY- Study that takes place across academic disciplines rather than within one discipline.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) - A highly academic program of courses which is similar to AP courses.  This is offered by some US and international high schools through which students can earn advanced standing in many US colleges and universities.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT - As defined by colleges, this is a student who does not hold a US passport or green card, and he or she is not a permanent resident of the US.

INTERNSHIPS- Short-term, supervised work experience, generally relating to the student's field of interest or study.  They may be paid or unpaid

IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL (or the Ivies) - This refers to a group of highly prestigious colleges in the eastern part of the U.S. It includes Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale.

return to top


JUNIOR -A student who has completed 60 to 89 college credit hours, Usually a 3rd year student

JUNIOR COLLEGE - This is similar to a community college

return to top


LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT - A requirement by some colleges to take a minimum number of foreign language classes and/or pass a foreign language test in order to graduate from the college.

LEARNING DISABILITY - A disorder in one of more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written.  This may mean that the student struggles with the ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations and may need assistance (see IEP)

LEGACY - A college applicant whose parents and/or grandparents have attended a specific college, which sometimes gives them an edge in admissions.

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION -  Sometimes these letters are required and sometimes not.  The letters (or forms) are written by high school counselors, teachers or other interested parties on behalf of high school students.  These are submitted to the colleges as part of the application

LIBERAL ARTS - A broad undergraduate program of education that focuses on the core courses; pre-professional training is often also available. These Academic courses are in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, foreign languages and the arts.

LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE - A college on its own or as a part of a larger university that focuses on the liberal arts.

LOANS - The most commonly used loans for financial aid are:

  • Federal Stafford Loan- Obtained from a local bank, with the interest paid by the federal government while the student attends college. Repayment begins six months after completing (or leaving) college.

  • Federal Perkins Loan- Carries the lowest interest rates and is offered through the college as part of a financial aid package.

  • Parent Loan Program (PLUS)- Parents borrow from participating banks; repayment begins 60 days after the beginning of the loan.

return to top


MAJOR - A subject of academic study that the student chooses as a field of specialization.

MASTER'S DEGREE -An academic degree given by a university to students who usually complete at least one year of prescribed courses beyond a bachelor's degree.

MEDIAN 25th–75th SAT scores for a college -The middle 50% of SAT scores achieved by a college's most recent freshman class.

MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS/FINANCIAL AID: Money given to students to cover college expenses , such as athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, music scholarships, etc.

MINOR - An academic subject that is the secondary field of study.

MINORITY - In college admissions this usually refers to individuals from of African-American, Native American, and Hispanic-American backgrounds.

return to top


NACAC - The National Association for College Admission Counseling is a professional organization of college admission counselors and high school guidance counselors who set standards and goals which regulate professional admissions work.

NATIONAL HISPANIC RECOGNITION PROGRAM (NHRP)- Based on PSAT scores, every year the National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes 4000 academically talented students of Hispanic origin. After initial qualification, 2 percent of students of Hispanic origin are designated as Scholars or Honorable Mentions. To qualify, a student must have at least one parent who is 100% Hispanic (a person of Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish cultures–but not Brazilian or Portuguese).

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM - This program offers qualified students scholarships based on the results of PSAT scores, course work, grades, leadership, interests, goals, and school recommendations. When students take the PSAT in their junior year, their scores may qualify them for recognition or scholarships by the National Merit Program. About 34,000 students receive Letters of Commendation, 16,000 qualify as Semifinalists, and 15,000 then go on to be Finalists. About 8,000 students are chosen to be become Merit Scholarship winners.

NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE - This agency certifies that athletes who hope to play Division I or II sports in college have met minimal academic requirements. It's suggested that student-athletes register with the NCAA in September of the senior year.

NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID- Aid offered by colleges and the federal government to bridge the gap between college cost and the family's ability to pay as determined by the  PROFILE, FAFSA, and/or the college Financial Aid Office. A typical aid package is divided into three parts: grant (gift money you do not pay back), loan, and work-study (campus job). 

NEED-BLIND ADMISSION - An admission process that does not consider an applicant's ability to pay as a factor in the admissions decision. 

NEED-CONSCIOUS (OR NEED-AWARE, NEED-SENSITIVE) ADMISSION - Financial need might be a factor in the admission decision.

NMSQT - The National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is the PSAT (Preliminary Student Aptitude Test). Scores on the PSAT are used by the National Merit Scholarship Program, in combination with other factors, to determine who receives a National Merit Scholarship.

NON-RESIDENT - a person who attends a public university in a state where he/she does not live.  Since these students don't pay taxes to the state. they pay a higher tuition rate than residents.

return to top



ON-LINE APPLICATION - Applying to a college by filling out an application that is sent electronically to the college.

OPEN ADMISSION -   An admissions policy is often used by community colleges in the US whereby any student with a high school diploma is accepted for admission.

OPEN HOUSE - An event at a college where a large group of prospective students can come to visit a college and participate in information sessions, take tours and often meet with counselors or faculty.  You must register for these events in advance.

return to top


PASS-FAIL - An option available  for certain courses at some colleges.  The course may be taken for a pass or fail grade, instead of a letter grade.

PLAN - A practice test to prepare you for the ACT. This test is offered in a student’s sophomore year. Scores range from 1 and 32.  This is similar to the PSAT - a practice for the SAT.

PRE-ADMIT DAYS / EVENTS - College-sponsored events held on campus or at alumni homes for admitted students to hear about the benefits of attending the college.

PREREQUISITES - These are courses, test scores, and/or grade level that a student must complete before being allowed to take certain specific courses.

PRIVATE COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY 0Higher education institutions not supported by public funds.

PROFILE - The form used by the College Scholarship Service (CSS) to assess a family's ability to pay for a college education. After information is analyzed, a complete report is sent to institutions designated by the student. Need-based financial aid is awarded according to the results. You must register with CSS (online) to begin the PROFILE registration process.  Many private colleges use this in addition to the FAFSA

PSAT / NMSQT: The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, is a practice test that helps students prepare for the SAT I. Colleges do not see a student's PSAT/NMSQT score. A student who does very well on this test, and who meets other academic performance criteria, might qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The Scores range from 20 and 80.

PUBLIC COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY - Higher education institutions supported by state and local taxes.

return to top


QUARTER SYSTEM-  An academic calendar in which the year is divided into four terms—three regular quarters and one summer quarter, approximately 10 weeks in length.

return to top


REACH SHOOLS -Colleges at which you have less than 50% chance of being admitted.

RECRUITED ATHLETE -An exceptional student athlete who is recruited by one or more college coaches to be a member of his athletic team, sometimes with scholarship offers.

REGULAR DECISION: This describes applications that are not submitted under any of the other specialized categories and is the most common admission program. Most deadlines for regular decision occur sometime in January of the senior year. Applicants are usually notified of their admission status between February 1 and April l5.

REJECTION LETTER - When a college informs an applicant that he or she has not been accepted for admission.

RELIGIOUS COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY - A private school that is affiliated (connected to) a church.  There may be a requirement to take some religious classes.

RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS (ROTC) - This program is a military training program that accompanies academic work and ending in an military officer commission.  It often involves a scholarship that pays part or full college costs and  minimum military obligation after college.

RESIDENT - A person who pays taxes to his/her state.  They are able to attend a public university in their home state at a lower tuition rate.

RESIDENT ADVISOR (RA) - A college student personnel officer, graduate or upper-class student who lives in a dormitory to support and advise the dorm residents.

RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE - A living/learning community within a college housed in one residence that offers special academic and/or theme programs to its residents.

RESTRICTED EARLY ACTION (EARLY ACTION SINGLE CHOICE) : Students select only one institution to apply using the Early Action option and the applicant must apply to other schools using only the Regular Decision option. The student does not have to withdraw other applications and does not have to accept or refuse the EA offer of admission until May 1.

ROLLING ADMISSION: This occurs when colleges accept applications and then give an acceptance decision on a rolling basis - they don't wait until a certain date or until all applications are submitted. This is common with many state institutions. If a school has a Rolling Admission policy, the earlier you apply, the better the chance for acceptance. As soon as applications arrive at a college, the admission office starts reading them and making decisions--often within three or four weeks. If you are accepted under this plan, you will not have to commit until May 1. 

return to top


SAT: The Scholastic Assessment Test is a standardized test designed to measure a student's critical reading, mathematical, and writing aptitude. The score range is 200-800 on each section. 

SAT II (SUBJECT TESTS): These are the subject Tests that measure a student's knowledge of skills in a particular area as well as the ability to apply the knowledge and skills. There are l6 subject-area exams and students may take one, two, or three exams on any test date. Test subjects include areas such as English Literature, American History, World History, Math I or II, Latin, Foreign Language, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Tests are scored on a scale of 200-800.

SCHOLARSHIP - Money given to students who demonstrate high academic achievement, outstanding leadership, or special interests or talents. This money may be used for payment of all or part of college expenses and is not required to be paid back.

SECULAR COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY - A school that is not affiliated to a church.

SEMESTER SYSTEM -  The academic calendar used by most universities in which the academic year is divided into two terms, usually 17-18 weeks long.

SENIOR -A student who has completed 90 or more college credit hours but has not received a bachelor’s degree.  Ususally a 4th year student.

SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (SSD) - A special program offered by the College Board and ACT for students with conditions that might prevent them from taking a test in the way non-disabled students can. A student must prove that he or she has a longterm disability and would usually have an IEP


SOCIAL SCIENCES - College courses in such subject areas as anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

SOPHOMORE - A student who has completed 30 to 59 college credit hours, usually a 2nd year student.

SPECIAL TALENT -  It refers to any interest, sport, art and/or activity in which a student has demonstrated unusual ability, talent or achievement.

S-S College / University - same sex colleges / universities. (all women or all men)

STANDARDIZED TEST - A standardized test is any form of test that (1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common group of questions, in the same way, and that (2) is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner.  This makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual students or groups of students. The SAT, ACT and TOEFL are standardized tests

STUDENT AID REPORT (SAR) - The form sent to families after the FAFSA is submitted to the government. The SAR will include the government's calculation of the Expected Family Contribution, a figure that will be sent to each college to determine aid.

return to top


3-2 PROGRAM- A cooperative academic program where a student attends one institution for three years and another for two, and is granted two degrees.

TEACHING ASSISTANT (TA) - A TA is usually a graduate student who teaches undergraduate courses at a university, and/or leads small discussion sections for a professor's large lecture class.

TERMINAL DEGREE - This is the final degree level in a field of study, often a PHD. 

TERMINAL PROGRAMS - These are complete programs do not require the student to continue courses.  They oar often in technical fields and may be oe or two years long.

TOEFL - A standardized test of English as a Foreign Language, which is offered to assess knowledge of written and spoken English for students whose native language is not English.

"TRANSFER" PROGRAM - Basic Freshman and sophomore levell college classes can transfer to a four-year college towards a bachelor's degree.  Often used when moving gtom a community college to a four year college.

TRANSCRIPT - The official record from a school showing the student's grade records, list of courses taken, and cumulative Grade Point Average. An official transcript, sent directly from the high school to the college admission office, is always required for a student to be admitted.

TRIMESTER SYSTEM- A calendar in which the academic year is divided into three main units. Sometimes called the quarter system.

TUITION - The fees charged by a college each quarter, semester or trimester for academic instruction and some activities and services.

TWO-FOR-ONE / THREE-FOR-ONE - The hours expected to spend in preparation of the classroom for each Credit hour of class.

return to top


UNDERGRADUATE - A college student who is in the process of completing a four-year educational program leading to a bachelor's degree.

UNIVERSAL RESPONSE DATE: May 1 is the date by which a student must give all accepting colleges a definite "yes" or "no" and send a deposit to the final-choice college.

UNIVERSITIES- Universities offer a full range of academic programs in undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs.  Universities can have an enrollment as small as 5,000 or as large as 50,000.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA APPLICATIONS - Application for admission to a University of California campus is available to view online from October 1 each year and may be completed online starting November 1 until November 30 of a given year. Essay, teacher recommendations and specific coursework are required. A student may apply to several of the 9 UC schools at one time.

UN-WEIGHTED GRADES - Student's grades to which no extra points are added for Honors, and/or AP, and/or IB courses.

UPPER DIVISION COURSES - Advanced courses usually taken during a student's junior and senior years.

return to top



WAIT LIST -  A list of qualified students who may be offered admission by a college at a later date, , usually after the reply date, if space becomes available. It is not a guarantee of a later acceptance. Some colleges may go to the Wait List as late as July or even August. Students who receive a Wait List letter may be asked if they want to remain on it.

WEIGHTED GRADES -The treatment given a student's grades in which extra points are added for Honors, and/or AP and/or IB courses.

WORK-STUDY - A special federally sponsored college program combining class hours and work hours on at the school. Pay is usually minimum wage or slightly above for approximately l0-l5 hours per week. The earnings from the job are used as part of a financial aid plan to help pay for tuition and other college expenses.

return to top


YIELD RATE- The percentage of accepted applicants who actually enroll in a college compared to the number of acceptances offered.

return to top




Powered by Squarespace