Planning for College

  • GLOSSARY OF TERMS
    to help you understand the college admissions process 

    AWARD LETTER
    A letter telling you what financial aid ( if any) your college is offering to you (includes types and amounts of aid offered, specific program information, etc.). You may choose to accept some or all of what is offered.

    CREDIT or CREDIT LETTER
    A unit of measurement institutions give for fulfilling course requirements. Most colleges require that you complete a certain number in order to graduate.

    COST OF ATTENDANCE
    Includes any cost associated with attending college: tuition and associated fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc.
    Early Action: If you apply early action and are accepted, you may compare admissions and financial aid offers and wait to commit to the college until later in the year.

    EARLY DECISION
    If you apply early decision, you must attend the college or university if you are accepted and must withdraw any applications sent to other schools. You won’t be able to compare financial aid offers.

    ENROLLMENT STATUS
    Indication of whether you attend full or part time.  In general, you must attend at least half time (or in some cases full time) to qualify for financial aid.

    EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION
    Amount students and their family are expected to contribute toward cost of attendance.

    FAFSA
    Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Students must fill out the FAFSA to find out how much federal aid they are eligible to receive.  Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov for more info.

    OPEN ADMISSIONS
    Students are admitted regardless of academic qualification.

    OUT-OF-STATE STUDENT
    Generally applies to students attending a public university outside of their home state.  Out-of-state students may pay a higher tuition rate unless they establish legal residency for that state.

    ROLLING ADMISSIONS
    There is no set admissions deadline date; qualified students are accepted until classes are filled.

    UNDERGRATUATE STUDENT
    A student who has not completed a baccalaureate or first professional degree.