College Admission Vocabulary
As you get involved with searching for the “right” college you will become aware of terms and acronyms you’ve never heard before. This section introduces the terms and defines them for you. However, I may miss some or new ones may appear. If you are confronted by a term not found here, that would be a good reason to ask a question.
AAI - Adjusted Available Income.
ACT - American College Test. The ACT is one of the two primary standardized tests used by colleges as an entrance examination (SAT is the other). The ACT is composed of four sections: English, mathematics, social studies, and natural sciences. A composite score is arrived at by averaging the four components. Students who score poorly on the SAT should take the ACT.
AP - Advanced Placement. AP’s are examinations taken after a student has completed one of Sem’s AP courses. A good score (3, 4, or 5) may result in exemption from a college course and/or granting of credit for a college course. If you are planning to take or have taken an AP test, I urge you to contact the colleges to which you are applying to determine the school’s policy of granting AP credit. It may be used in addition to the SAT for admission to some colleges.
ATP - Admission Testing Program. The ATP is the department of ETS (see below) directly responsible for SAT tests.
CEEB - College Entrance Examination Board. Offers many tests required by most colleges. Our school CEEB # is : 392040.
CSS - College Scholarship Service. An office of ETS which has written the formula which determines the family contribution towards education.
CWSP - Campus Work Study Program.
EA - Early Action. Some colleges allow you to apply under an early action plan. Early action is very similar to early decision with one major exception. You apply early, you hear from the college early, but you are not committed to a decision. You do not need to withdraw your other applications.
ED - Early Decision. Many colleges allow you to apply under an Early Decision plan. The reason for early decision is a good one: it allows you to begin and end the college application process before February 1. However, Early Decision also means you have declared a “first choice” college. If accepted, you are obligated to attend that school. Don’t consider an ED application unless you are willing to withdraw all other applications upon acceptance to your “first choice” school, resulting in an inability to compare financial aid packages.
FAFNAR - Financial Aid Form Need Analysis Report.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A form instituted in the 1992-93 school year. You should complete this form to be considered for all types of federal financial aid. This form is also available in the guidance office.
FAO - Financial Aid Officer.
FM - Federal Methodology. The means used to determine financial need.
PELL GRANT - A basic educational opportunity grant originally sponsored by Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island. This is a need-based grant. To determine eligibility it is necessary to complete the FAFSA.
PHEAA - Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the state body which supervises state scholarship and state loans. You can be automatically considered for PHEAA funds when you complete the FAFSA. Just be sure to answer ‘yes’ when asked on the form, ‘Do you wish the results to be released to state agencies?’
PERKINS LOAN - This loan program is available to families who demonstrate financial need. The amount of the loan is determined by the college making a financial aid award. A 5% loan is given by the college, but backed by the government.
REGULAR DECISION - An admission decision plan where a college has a specific deadline by which students must apply. Typically, colleges with regular decision plans have deadlines in January and February and notify students of decisions in late March or April.
ROLLING DECISION - An admission plan where colleges evaluate applications when they are received and notify the student of the decision as soon as possible, typically within a month. All students are urged to apply to a college with a rolling decision plan early in their senior year. Ideally, that rolling college should be one where they are certain they will be admitted. An acceptance early in the process alleviates much of the stress that is associated with applying to college.
STAFFORD LOAN - A loan available to eligible families to be used for educational purposes only. A student can borrow a maximum of $2,625 freshman year, $3,500 sophomore year, and up to $5,500 per year junior and senior years. The interest rate is variable up to 9%.
SAR - Student Aid Report.
SAT - The SAT is used by virtually every college in the country as its entranceexamination. It is sometimes used in concert with three SAT Subject tests to determine admission qualifications. When you register for the SAT, make sure you code in your four (4) free college choices. Please don’t leave this area blank. It costs $6.50 per school to send reports later. Ask your college counselor about colleges where submission of SAT scores is optional.
SAT Subject Tests (formerly called SAT II’s). The most selective colleges will require you to take up to three Subject tests. Subject tests are offered in about sixteen different areas. Some colleges will use Subject tests for placement purposes and others will use them to determine admission. Before deciding which Subject tests to take: (1) CHECK ALL YOUR COLLEGES’ ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS. (2) Check with your college counselor. (3) Look over the College Guidance office’s selections of recent Subject tests. (4) Be sure to code in your four (4) free college selections when you register. (5) Remember that Seminary does not include Subject tests on the test record sent to colleges, so you must have your scores sent from the testing agency to the colleges.
SEOG - Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant - varies from college to college and the maximum is $4000 yearly. The college makes the awards, but it is federally funded.
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language. The TOEFL is required for international students for college admission.
Collegiate Academic Calendars:
Semester - The school year is divided into two terms of equal length.
Quarter - The school year is divided into four terms of equal length.
Trimester - The school year is divided into three terms of equal length. This is the calendar used by Wyoming Seminary.
Block Plan - The year is divided into a number of “blocks” usually three weeks long. During each block a student takes only one course.
Interim - A short term three weeks to one month long. It usually occurs during January or towards the end of the academic year. Also known as Intersession, Winter Term, Winterim, January Plan. A student usually takes only one course.