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Common Terminology

Acceptance Form: This form documents the student's receipt of an award letter. The form usually includes a space to indicate acceptance of offered aid, declination of all or part of the package, and some means for requesting an appeal to modify the award. Acceptance letters and award letters are frequently combined into a single document.

Admit-Deny: Some schools will admit marginal students, but not award them any financial aid. Very few schools use admit-deny, because studies have shown that lack of sufficient financial aid is a key factor in the performance of marginal students.

Advanced Placement :It is possible for you to obtain credits toward a college or university program while you are still in high school! The Advanced Placement program is a series of internationally recognized exams that allow you obtain first-year credit or exemption for many subjects. Advanced Placement exams are offered for many subjects including Calculus, History, Computer Science, Studio Art and more. The Advanced Placement exams are administered by The College Board. Check out their website for more details.

Associate Degree: A degree which is granted to a student who has completed a two-year program (64-66 credits) and is equivalent to the first two years of study for a Bachelor degree. An Associate degree may be further specified as an Associate of Arts (AA) (granted to students who have completed a two-year program in Liberal Arts) or an Associate of Science (AS) (granted to students who have completed a two-year program in the Sciences).

Associate of Applied Science (AAS): A degree that is granted to students who have completed a technology or vocational program. It is generally considered a terminal degree as it prepares students for immediate employment upon graduation. In some cases, the credits earned while completing an AAS can be transferred to a Bachelor degree, but only when specified by the school or program in question.

Award Letter: The form which notifies the student that financial aid is being offered. The award letter usually provides information about the types and amounts of aid offered, as well as specific program information, student responsibilities, and the conditions which govern the award. The Award Letter often includes an Acceptance Form.

Campus-based Programs: The term commonly applied to those U.S. Department of Education federal student aid programs administered directly by institutions of postsecondary education. Includes: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs.

Commuter Student: A student who does not live on campus; typically 'commuter' refers to a student living at home with his or her parents, but can also mean any student who lives off-campus.

Cooperative Education: In a cooperative education program, the student spends some time engaged in employment related to their major in addition to regular classroom study.

Credit Hour: The unit of measurement some institutions give for fulfilling course requirements.
A credit in a school or college, usually representing one hour of class per week for one term.

Community College is a U.S. public nonresidential junior college offering a two-year curriculum leading to an associate in arts degree or to transfer to a four-year college. It is often funded by the government and prepares students for direct entry into an occupation and, because of the low tuition, local setting, and relatively easy entry requirements, has been a major force in the expansion of educational opportunities since World War II.

Colleges : Colleges are smaller schools that offer a wide variety of programs which usually take a shorter time to complete. Colleges are very similar to universities in that they also offer a large number of programs, however they typically do not have as many students and do not grant degrees. Instead of giving degrees a college typically grants diplomas or certificates.

Some colleges also offer what are called university transfer programs, which allow you to start a program at a college and then transfer to a university to finish your degree. Most colleges and universities publish transfer guides that tell you which programs can be transferred to which schools. For more information on transfer programs, contact an advisor or talk to your high school counselor.

Upon completion a program, the school may help you find a job relating to your field of study. Some programs also lead into apprenticeships, where you continue your education by working for an experience professional in the field. Talk to your high school counselor or career center for more information about apprenticeships and trade schools.

Dental School : A graduate school offering study leading to degrees in dentistry.

Distance Education : If you do not want to attend a school in person or if you do not live near an institution, it is still possible for you to complete a program. Many universities and colleges offer distance education programs, which allow you to study through correspondence. Some universities are even beginning to offer distance education programs through the internet using the Web and E-mail. If you are interested in a distance education program, contact the school's admissions or distance education office for details.

Early Action: An early action program has earlier deadlines and earlier notification dates than the regular admissions process. Unlike the Early Decision program, the early action program does not require that a student commit to attending the school if admitted.

Early Admission: Procedure used by colleges which allows gifted high-school juniors to skip their senior year and enroll instead in college. The term "Early Admission" is sometimes used to refer collectively to Early Action and Early Decision programs.

Early Decision: Some colleges offer the option of an early decision to students who meet all entrance requirements, are certain of the college they wish to attend, and are likely to be accepted by that college. Students participate in the Early Decision plan by indicating their desire to participate on their college application. The decision regarding admission is made by mid-December of the student's senior year in high school, as opposed to the regular admissions notification of mid-April. A drawback of the Early Decision program is that students will have to commit to a school before they find out about the financial aid packet. A student can apply early decision to only one school.

Full Time Student is any student who is enrolled for at least 3 Classes (maybe 4 classes depending on the university) per semester.

Full Time Employee is any employee who works for at least 40 hours per week.

Graduate School : A school in a university offering study leading to degrees beyond the bachelor's degree.

Law School : A graduate school offering study leading to a law degree.

Medical School : A graduate school offering study leading to a medical degree.

Normal School :School for the professional training of teachers, especially elementary school teachers. The first American private normal school opened in 1823 as a two-year training institute for elementary school teachers. The number of schools grew during the late 19th cent., and beginning in the 1890s, as the need for teachers increased, normal schools expanded into four-year, degree-granting teacher-training colleges. In the last half of the 20th cent. teachers colleges expanded their curricula, and many universities began offering graduate degrees in education.

Open Admissions: Students are admitted regardless of academic qualifications. The school may require an additional probationary period during which the student must earn satisfactory grades to ensure continued enrollment. This is the same as Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment : Policy of admitting any high school graduate to college in an effort to provide higher education for all who desire it. To critics this means lowering of standards, since considerable effort must be devoted to teaching basic skills. The most ambitious programs were established in California and New York City. In the 1980s many educational institutions partially reversed such policies and increased admission requirements. This is the same as Open Admission.

Out-of-State Student: This term generally applies to students applying to a public college or university. Tuition rates are lower for state residents; out-of-state students must pay a higher rate of tuition until they have established the legal residency requirements for the state.

Part Time Student is any student who is enrolled for at least 1 Class per semester and no more than 2 classes per semester.

Part Time Employee is any employee who works for at least 1 hour per week but less than 40 hours per week.

Remediation: Students who are not fully prepared for college academically are often required to complete remedial classes. The courses are designed to bring the student up to the level required for satisfactory college-level performances. Such courses are usually not granted credit towards graduation.

Rolling Admissions: Students' applications are considered when all required credentials have been submitted. There is either no deadline or a very late deadline; qualified students are accepted until classes are filled. Applicants are notified of admission continuously throughout the enrollment period.

Selective Admissions: Procedure used by colleges and universities who admit a set percentage of their applicants for admission. Minimum academic qualifications are required along with other qualitative standards.

Trade and Technical Schools : Trade schools typically offer specialized training in a specific trade or vocation. Trade and technical schools are typically small schools that focus specifically on one program, trade, or vocation. Trade and technical schools do not grant degrees, but usually grant certificates or diplomas. Classes at these schools are typically small and programs can usually be completed in two years or less.

Upon completion a program, the school may help you find a job relating to your field of study. Some programs also lead into apprenticeships, where you continue your education by working for an experience professional in the field. Talk to your high school counselor or career center for more information about apprenticeships and trade schools.

Universities : Institutions of higher education. Universities, which usually consist of several faculties or colleges, are larger than colleges, have wider curricula, are involved in research, and grant graduate and professional as well as undergraduate degrees.