Glossary of College Application Terms



    §  Recognition by an accrediting organization that a college meets an acceptable standard in its education programs, student services and facilities.  There are many Regional and National Accrediting Associations.  A recommended Regional web site is http://www.msache.org and a National web site is www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue.


    Articulation Agreement

    §  A formal agreement between two colleges, which enables the transfer student to continue their education from one institution to the next without duplication or non-recognition of coursework. 


    Associates Degree

    §  College degree awarded after satisfactory completion of a two-year program.  Many Associate of Arts Degrees (AA) and Associate of Science Degrees (AS) are designed to apply to the first two years of a four-year college curriculum.


    Bachelors Degree

    §  College degree awarded after the satisfactory completion of a four or five-year full time study program.  The most common degrees are the Bachelor of Art (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS).



    §    The system that the college divides its instructional periods into.  They include:

    Quarter – academic year is divided into four parts.

    Semester – academic year is divided into two parts.

    Trimester – academic year is divided into three parts.

    4-1-4 – two four month terms and a one month “inter-session.”


    Candidates Reply Date

    §  May 1st is the date that accepted applicants must commit, by deposit, their intention to enroll.  This common reply date gives all students the opportunity to consider each acceptance and financial aid package.


    Common Application

    §  A standard application form accepted by over 250 colleges.  The form can be filed on-line at www.commonapp.org.


    Community College

    §  A two-year college typically established by the state government.  When state operated, the tuition tends to be lower then privately run colleges.


    Deferred Admission

    §  This allows an accepted student to postpone enrollment usually for one year.


    Early Action

    §  Student applies and is notified early of acceptance but need not commit to admissions prior to May 1st.


    Early Decision

    §  Student applies to a first choice school.  If accepted, the student must withdraw all applications from other schools and is ethically bound to attend this school.


    Expected Family Contribution

    §  The amount of money your family is expected to contribute to your college education.  This amount varies with different college tuition costs.


    Fee Waivers

    §  Allow eligible students to register for tests and apply to colleges without cost.


    Financial Aid Package

    §  A combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work study that the college is able to offer the applicant in order to meet your eligibility for financial aid.


    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    §  The primary form used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.


    Group Interview

    §  An interview including several or many applicants with a representative from the college admission office.  During these interviews, students hear about a school and ask questions.


    Liberal Arts

    §  A degree program consisting of study in the areas of arts, natural sciences and humanities.


    Open Admissions

    §  Students and adults with GED or high school diplomas are admitted without regard to traditional qualifications.  Class and program placements are done per the results of educational assessments.


    Regular Admissions

    §  Students applying to a college under regular admissions often have deadlines of January, February, or March.  Generally, the more competitive schools require that application materials be submitted earlier.  Students need to be aware of each schools deadline.


    Rolling Admissions

    §  The student’s application is considered upon receipt in the admission office.  Although there are no specific deadlines, students are encouraged to apply in a timely a manner in order to avoid being closed out of a program.  The SUNY System operates on a rolling admissions basis.


    Student Aid Report (SAR)

    §  The form produced as a result of the filing of the FAFSA.  It reports your aid eligibility information.


    Wait Listed

    §  A list of qualified applicants who could be admitted if space becomes available after the May 1st confirmation deadline.