• Glossary

    Word Definition
    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.
    Admissions Index This index uses a formula to combine a student's grade point average with his or her standardized pre-college test scores (ACT or SAT) into a single score or index. Typically, large public universities utilize these to manage a large number of applications. The CSU system uses an index system.
    Admit or Acceptance Rate This is the percentage of students who are accepted out of the total number of students who applied to that college or university.
    Advanced placement Granting of credit and/or assignment to an advanced college course on the basis of evidence that the student has mastered the equivalent of an introductory course.
    Aid package A combination of aid (possibly including a scholarship, grant, loan and work) determined by a college financial aid office.
    Balanced Apply List This is a list that has an effective balance of colleges categorized by your individual chances of admission or within Safety (high chance), Target (medium chance), or Reach (low chance) categories.
    Candidate Notification Date or Common Reply Date The date by which a college notifies a student of their decision, usually April 15.
    Candidate Reply Date The date by which a student must notify the college of his/her enrollment intentions. Failure to reply means acceptance will be withdrawn by the college. (The date is usually May 1.)
    College is an institution of higher learning, especially one providing a general or liberal arts education, usually leading to a bachelor's degree
    College calendar Common systems of instruction time _ Traditional: two approximately equal semesters _ Quarter: three equal terms of about 12 weeks _ Trimester: calendar year divided into three equal semesters, the third replaces summer session _ 4-1-4: two equal terms of about 16 weeks ea., with a 4-week interim term
    Comprehensive Review This considers each individual application, including grades, test scores, number of and performance in honors and AP courses, quality of senior year courses, outstanding work in an academic field, quality of performance in light of opportunities offered at your high school, recent and marked improvement in academic performance, special talents, awards, and achievements, special interests, leadership, community service, academic achievements in light of your life's experiences and special circum
    Cooperative Education A combination of classroom study and work experience directly related to the classroom study.
    Credit hour A unit of academic credit that often represents one hours of class time per week for a period of study (semester, quarter, etc.).
    Deferment A policy by which a college allows a student to defer enrollment for one year, if notification is given, a space is reserved with a tuition deposit, and the year is not used for academic study elsewhere.
    Deferral A term used by the college to handle earlydecision candidates who were not accepted in December but will still be considered for regular admissions.
    Early Action This is a non-restrictive application. Students apply to an institution and receive their admission decision ahead of those applying through regular decision. Students are not obligated to accept the offer and may apply to other colleges.
    Early Admission A program in which a college accepts high school students to enroll before they graduate from high school. Admissions standards are more stringent for early admissions.
    Early Decision An application process in which a commitment is made by the student to the institution that, if admitted, the student will enroll. Only a student who can make a deliberate and well-reasoned first choice decision should apply under an Early Decision plan because the institution will require a nonrefundable deposit well before financial aid packages are calculated
    Early Notification A program in which applicants must submit applications by December 1 in order to receive an admission decision by February 1.
    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) The application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid. The FAFSA is an online process, free of charge, and it is used by most state agencies and colleges.
    Grade point average An indicator of the 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, E/F=0) times the number of course hours/credit hours, then dividing the sum by the total number of course hours/credit hours carried.
    Graduation Rate This is the percentage of students who graduate within the stated number of years: usually reported for 4 or 6 years.
    Grants Awards based on financial need that do not require repayment. Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies, and educational institutions.
    Honors programs Any program offering opportunity for superior students to enrich their educational experience through independent, advanced, or accelerated study
    Impaction This is when a college, University, department or major has more students apply than spots available