Roadmap to College: Glossary (page 2)
Here is a list of the different terms you are likely to come across as you navigate the world of college admissions. The terms are listed alphabetically with related explanations provided for your reference.
504 Plan A plan, developed by school professionals under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to give students with disabilities needed modifications and accommodations.
Achievement Test A test designed to assess information learned in a specific curriculum. The concepts measured are usually content-specific and more factual rather than abstract.
ACT The ACT is one of the tests used to assess college readiness. It is composed of English, reading, math, and science sections and an optional writing section. Each section is scored from 1 to 36 with a composite score from 1 to 36.
Advanced Placement (AP) The Advanced Placement program and tests developed by the College Board. Many high schools offer AP courses and students take AP exams (scored on a scale from 1 to 5) in May for potential college credit. AP courses are usually challenging courses, and colleges look favorably upon students who take them.
Aptitude Test A test designed to measure future potential; the concepts tested are usually more abstract.
Block Schedule A type of course programming used in high schools where classes do not meet every day but meet for longer periods of time a few times a week. One of the benefits of block scheduling is longer class periods with intense focus.
Brag Sheet Also known as an extracurricular activities sheet or a resume, the brag list highlights students’ achievements inside and outside of school. See also Extracurricular Activities List and Résumé.
Campus Visit A trip taken by many students to tour a campus before they apply to determine if the school has the right “vibe” and is a good match for them.
Career Assessment Online or paper and pencil assessments used to measure preferences for certain careers or jobs based on a student’s self assessment of his or her personality.
Class Rank A comparative rating measurement used by some high schools to rank students’ performance in the senior class, either with a weighted or an unweighted grade point average.
College Admissions Counselor/Officer Professionals who work in the college admissions office of a college or university. They read students’ applications and recruit students by visiting high schools and participating in college fairs around the country.
College Level Course These courses are offered in high schools, usually in conjunction with a local college or university. Students may pay lower tuition for these courses and receive college credits when they enter college.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) A testing program administered by the College Board, which is used to grant college credit in 34 areas.
College Preparatory Classes Courses offered in high school to prepare students for college level work. These courses are usually in English, science, social studies, foreign language, and math.
College Rankings Published rankings of colleges developed by various media, including
US News and World Report, Business Week, and Forbes. Various criteria are used to evaluate colleges.
College Savings Program Various programs used by families to save money for college, including 529 plans and prepaid tuition programs.
Common Application A centralized application for students to use to apply to member colleges that promote holistic review of applications. Students can apply online or on paper.
Common Data Set Statistics provided on a university’s Web site, which includes useful information about admissions data.
Community College A two-year college with low tuition, where students can obtain an associate’s degree and transfer with credits to a four-year college.
Commuter College Sometimes referred to as a suitcase college, it is a college setting where students typically commute between home and the campus. The college may have dorms for residential students, but most students do not live on campus.
Conditional Acceptance This type of acceptance is granted to students who do not meet the stated requirements of the college but are admitted to college with conditions, including reduced course load, probation, or meetings with academic advisors.
Content-Based Test A test based on the curriculum learned in class. Assessments are objective and students can usually prepare for these tests by reviewing the curriculum.
Co-operative (co-op) Program A program offered by colleges and universities where the emphasis is placed on internships or on-the-job learning experiences.
Core Curriculum Mandatory courses in specific areas or in specific classes students are required to take in order to meet graduation requirements. Some colleges have many core requirements and other colleges have fewer core requirements.
Cost of Attendance (COA) The cost of attending college, including tuition, room and board, travel, personal expenses, books, and fees. The cost of attending a private university is usually higher than that associated with attending a public university.
CSS (College Scholarship Service)/Profile In addition to the FAFSA, some colleges require a more detailed financial aid document known as the CSS/Profile.
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