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College Admissions Glossary A-C

College Admissions Glossary A-C

All of the various components of the college application process can be complicated. So read on for terms and definitions from A-C! This will ensure a smooth and easy transition from high school to college. 

ACT: The ACT is a standardized admissions test that assesses a student's readiness for college-level classes. 

AP: Advanced Placement classes are college-level courses offered to high school students for the chance to earn college credit before enrolling in college. The students take an AP test to evaluate mastery of the material. Typically, earning a 4 or 5 on an AP test qualifies for college credit. Requirements may vary depending on the college or university.

Accepted: A student who is accepted by a college or university gains admission to the college or university.

Accredited: An accredited college or university had its programs evaluated, typically by one of six regional accreditation agencies. A college or university must be accredited for its students to qualify for federal student aid.

Admission: Admission grants entry into a college or university.

Admissions Test: An admissions test is an entrance examination used to measure preparedness for college-level academic work.

Admit-Deny: Admit-deny refers to a student being granted admission to a college, but being denied enough financial aid for the student to afford to enroll at the college.

Advanced PlacementSee AP.

Articulation Agreement: An articulation agreement between a community college and a 4-year school specifies which community college classes are accepted for credit at the 4-year school. This can make it easier for students to transition from one school to another. Some agreements allow students to enter a four-year school as a junior, so long as they fulfilled the requirements for an associate degree at their previous school.

Associate Degree: A college degree that is awarded for the completion of a course of study that normally lasts two years.

Award Letter: A financial aid award letter is sent by a college or university to an admitted student to summarize the types and amount of financial aid awarded to the student.

Bachelor's Degree: A bachelor’s degree is a college degree that is awarded to students who have completed a course of undergraduate study that normally lasts four or five years.

Certificate: A certificate is a non-degree credential awarded to a student for completion of a course of study that normally lasts a year or less.

Class Rank: Class rank is a relative measure of academic performance. A student with grades better than 50% of their classmates would rank in the top half of the class. The student who graduates at the top of their class is usually the valedictorian and the student ranked second is usually the salutatorian.

Coed: Coed is an abbreviation for co-educational, an institution that enrolls both men and women.

College Credit Hours: College credit hours are a numeric measure of the intensity of a college class. Classes that involve a greater number of college credits are typically more challenging and time-consuming. A student needs a certain number of credit hours to graduate.

Community College: A community college is a public junior college that offers classes to students. Community colleges are 2-year institutions that usually award certificates or associate degrees and prepare students to transfer to a 4-year college or university.

Commuter Student: A commuter student is a student who does not live on campus but instead travels to school every day.

Conditional Admission: Conditional admission occurs when a college or university accepts a student, so long as certain criteria are met, such as maintenance or improvement of academic performance. For example, a student who receives conditional admission may have his or her offer of admission rescinded if the final transcripts do not show a strong academic performance.

Core Curriculum: A core curriculum is set of general education courses that all students at a college or university are required to take.

Cost of Attendance: The cost of attendance (COA) is the total amount it will cost to attend a school, including tuition, fees, housing, a meal plan, textbooks, supplies, equipment, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

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