The College Admission and Application Glossary
Know the lingo with the college admission and application glossary.
March 09, 2009
All the terms you need to know to help you get into college.
American College Test (ACT) :
One of the most common college entrance exams. The exam consists of four sections including math, science, English, and reading. There is an optional writing section that is usually taken for the first time in the spring of the junior year and again in the senior year of high school.
Getting accepted into a college.
Application is what you need to do, in order to be considered by a college. So apply! You should make sure you complete all of the college’s required forms and hand in any necessary documents, like previous academic records, test scores, and letters of recommendation. You may also be required to have an interview. Depending on how good your application is, you might gain acceptance to the institution. Admission is the status granted to an applicant who meets the entrance requirements of the institution. Many colleges nationwide have different requirements and Application/Acceptance/Admission policies, so make sure of the specific criteria necessary at the schools to which you are applying.
Candidate’s Reply Date Agreement (CRDA) :
Any college subscribing to this agreement will not require you to notify the school of your decision to accept admittance (or to accept an offer of financial aid) before May 1st of the year the applicant applies. The purpose of the agreement is to give you time to hear from all of the colleges you applied to before having to make a commitment to any one of them.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) :
This is for students who want to get college credit by taking proficiency tests in selected courses. If you score high enough on the test, college credit can be awarded. There is a charge for each test taken. Information concerning an individual institution’s policies toward CLEP tests can be found in the college’s catalog.
Cost of Attendance :
What it costs to attend a specific college, including tuition & fees, room & board, books, transportation, personal expenses, and all other necessary expenses associated with going to that college.
Once you have been admitted to a college, you can postpone starting your studies for a specified period of time (usually one year). Make sure you apply for a deferral before beginning your studies.
Early Action (EA) :
An admission application option that allows a high school student who just entered his/her senior year of high school to file for early admission to his/her top choice college (or colleges). However, in this case, the student is not committed to accepting admittance to a particular college, even if he/she gets accepted to his/her top choice school. Early action plans allow a student to decide if they wish to accept an offer of admission until May 1st.
Early Admission :
Some colleges accept certain students with exceptional abilities who have only completed their junior year, but who have not completed high school. These students are enrolled in college as full-time students.
Early Decision (ED):
This is a good plan for applicants who know exactly which college they want to attend and are confident that they will be accepted. An early decision application is initiated by the student who is then notified of the college’s decision earlier than usual (generally by the 15th of December of senior year). Keep in mind that by submitting an early decision application, you are automatically agreeing to accept the school’s offer of admission.
Open Admissions :
The college admissions policy that admits high school graduates and other adults generally without regard to conventional academic qualifications, such as high school grades, admissions test scores, and high school subjects taken. Virtually all applicants with high school diplomas or their equivalent are accepted.
Often referred to as the “pre-ACT”, it is a practice test for the ACT (see ACT) assessment exam. The PLAN test is offered in the sophomore year of high school.
The practice version of the SAT (see SAT). It is taken in the sophomore year and again in junior year, and does not form part of your record.
Rolling Admissions :
An admissions procedure by which the college considers your application as soon as all the required credentials, such as school record and test scores, have been received.
Room & Board :
The fees charged by a college for a dorm room (or other living facility) and meals during the school year.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) :
One of the most common college entrance exams required for admission to many colleges. The SAT is made up of three sections: Critical reading, math and writing.
SAT Subject Tests:
The collective name for 20 multiple choice standardized tests given on various topics. You usually select the test(s) according to the entrance requirements set by the school that you have applied to.
Special Entry Applicant :
A person who does not meet the minimum entry requirements of a particular academic program and is admitted to that academic program through special entry provisions.
Student Amenities Fee :
All students are required to pay an annual amenities fee. The funds are used to support college student organizations. This fee is adjusted according to your student status – external, full-time internal or part-time internal.
Tests Of General Educational Development (GED) :
A series of five tests offered by the state education system that gives adults, who did not complete high school, an opportunity to qualify for a high school equivalency certificate. The tests are administered at centers outside the United States and to members of the armed services through the U.S. Armed Forces Institute.
TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) :
A test colleges require for those who come from countries whose official language is not English, in order to determine whether or not you can speak, write, understand, and study in Standard American English.
How much your college courses cost. Tuition is the amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment. Tuition does not include the cost of books, fees, or room and board. Tuition charges vary from college to college and are dependent on such factors as resident or out-of-state status, level of classes enrolled in (lower, upper or graduate division), and whether the institution is publicly or privately financed.
You may withdraw from courses during a semester, which means you will no longer be registered in that course and will be exempt from coursework and credits without penalties or a failing mark. There are deadlines for withdrawal and you must follow the established procedures, which are specified in the college catalog and class schedule. Written approval from a university official must be secured, and some fees must be paid.
Article courtesy of Campus Compare. © 2009