Attention Graduating FWISD Seniors: T3 has extended its partner application & financial aid deadlines!

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College Access & Admission Terms

  • Academic Advisor/Guidance Counselor - A person at your school who will help you pick the right courses for your graduation plan and who provides support throughout your educational journey.
  • Acceptance / Admission - An offer to attend a school or program you apply to.
  • ACT (American College Test) - A standardized test designed to measure a student's level of content knowledge before granting admission to a college or university. Also see SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test).
  • Associate Degree - This degree is granted after completing at least 60 credit hours, usually about the first two years of college.
  • Bachelor's Degree - A four-year degree from college and usually requires at least a 120 credit hours.
  • Budget - A practice of balancing your income and expenses by determining how much of your income you want / need to allocate for specific things and to create a log to track progress.
  • Candidates Reply Date Agreement (CRDA) - An agreement several colleges follow that gives applicants a deadline to accept or decline offers of admission.
  • Capped Major - Some majors are capped, meaning the school only admits a certain number of students into the program each year because so many students desire that major.
  • Class Rank - A number that reflects your GPA compared to the rest of your class. It is listed as a number or as a percentile.
  • CLEP (College Level Examination Program) - If a student scores high enough, a CLEP test can be taken to award college credit for classes without actually taking them.
  • COA (Cost of Attendance) - The estimated cost of completing one full year at college or a program. For college, typically includes tuition, room and board, housing and food, student fees, books, supplies, and sometimes transportation costs.
  • College Admission Requirements - The set of criteria needed for student to apply to college.
  • Common Application (The Common App) - An undergraduate college admission application that students may use to apply to several participating schools at once.
  • CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile - A financial application provided by the College Board in the US. It is similar to the FAFSA, but it's not free to complete. Many private colleges and universities require the CSS Profile for financial aid purposes.
  • DACA Students (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) - Undocumented DACA youth are protected from deportation for two years, subject to renewal, and provided with a work permit. In almost every state DACA students can apply for a driver's license.
  • Deferred Admission - Permission from a college where you have been accepted to postpone enrolling in the college. The postponement is usually up to one year.
  • Degree - Degrees are what students get for completing a program of study at a college or university. There are three basic types of degrees; Associate, bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral.
  • Degree Requirements - The courses or projects required for completion of a degree program. They may include a number of credit hours and a minimum GPA, among other specifics.
  • Diploma - A diploma is a document which shows that a person has finished the requirements for graduation from high school, a certificate, or degree program.
  • Dissertation - A dissertation is a requirement for a doctoral degree. The lengthy essay is based upon scholarly research, and it must be an original contribution to the field.
  • Doctoral Degree - A doctoral degree, known as a PhD or doctorate, is the most advanced degree that can be earned. This is why people who have a PhD are often called doctor even if they do not work in a hospital or clinic.
  • Dual Credit Class - A dual credit class is a college class taken by a high school student. A dual credit class gift credit towards High School graduation as well as towards a future degree for certificate program.
  • Early Action (EA) - An option to submit your college applications before the regular deadlines to increase your chances of admissions; early action applications are not binding.
  • Early College High School (ECHS) - A high school partnered with a college that is designed for students to receive both a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time.
  • Early Decision (ED) - An option to apply to your first college choice before the regular deadline to increase your chances of admission. Early decision applications are binding.
  • Enrollment - This is a process of selecting classes each semester in college. It may also include paying tuition.
  • Enrollment Status - A full-time or part-time enrollment status depends on the number of credit hours a student is taking in a semester. Twelve (12) or more hours is full-time enrollment, less than 12 is part-time enrollment.
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - A part of the FASFA where a student shares the expected amount of money that their family will contribute towards their education. The EFC is subtracted from a College's cost of attendance (COA) to determine how much financial aid a student will receive.
  • Federal Pell Grant - Grants given to students from the federal government based upon financial need. Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for the Pell Grant.
  • Financial Aid - Money students use to cover college expenses. Aid comes in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.
  • First Generation College Student - A student whose parents or legal guardians have not completed an undergraduate degree program.
  • Grade Point Average - Your GPA is the sum of the student's grades, divided by the number of credit hours to get an average.
  • Graduate School - A degree program for students who want to study a subject area in further depth beyond their undergraduate degree. Graduate degrees are master's, doctoral and professional degrees.
  • Grant - Financial aid that does not require repayment.
  • High School Application Requirements - The specific requirements needed to gain admission to a magnet or private high school, which can include a minimum GPA, strong recommendations, advanced coursework, etc.
  • High School Graduation Requirements - The set of criteria students must complete in order to graduate from high school. These are not always the same as college admission requirements.
  • In-State Tuition - A reduced tuition rate for students who attend college in the same state they live.
  • In-State Resident - A student who meets the residency requirements pays a discounted tuition at a college in the same state.
  • IB (International Baccalaureate) - IB is a 12-year curriculum that focuses on a world view perspective of education. Only select schools are IB schools. The high school program is called the Diploma Program (DP) and is completed during the final two years of high school.
  • Master's Degree - A graduate degree that usually requires two or more years of study after completing a bachelor's degree. A master's degree program usually culminates with a thesis.
  • Midterm Exams - During the middle of each semester, instructors may give midterm exams that test students on the material covered during the first half of the term.
  • NMSQT - The NMSQT is a National Merit Scholarship qualifying test taken in high school, which can lead to scholarship money.
  • Online Course - Classes held through an online portal rather than in person or in the classroom.
  • Out of State Tuition - Tuition rate that students pay if they choose to attend a public college that is not in their home state. Private college tuition does not vary based upon state residency.
  • Pass/Fail Courses - Courses that do not assign grades and are not calculated into a student's GPA or cause pass / fail courses. Transcripts have a "P" for pass or a "U" for unsatisfactory.
  • Percentile - Percentiles are a way of communicating percentage. For example a student in the top 50% of their class means that the students GPA has remained the same or better than 50% of the students in their class.
  • Personal Statement - A type of application essay that is explicitly about the applicant's unique achievements and desire to be part of the program.
  • Petition - A petition is the name for both the process and the form a student fills out to request consideration of a special circumstance. For example, if a student is denied admission to the college of their choice, they may petition for admission based on exceptional circumstances.
  • Postgraduate - A student who pursues an advanced degree after earning a bachelor's degree.
  • Postsecondary - Any education after high school.
  • Prerequisite - A course that must be taken prior to enrollment in another course.
  • Priority Date or Deadline - The date by which your application -- whether it's for College admission, student housing or financial aid - must be received by a college to be considered.
  • Private College/ University - A school that is not funded with public dollars and instead relies on donations, tuition, and fees.
  • Public College / University - A state-funded college or university.
  • Regular Admission - The type of admission that most schools offer. There is a set deadline by which the applicant has to submit their application.
  • Resume - A document that highlights a person's education, work and academic experience, including honors, community involvement, and skills.
  • Rolling Admission - A type of admission that allows schools to accept students throughout the year.
  • Room & Board - The cost of living on campus and participating in the campus dining plan.
  • SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) - SAP is a standard for minimum GPA and credit hour completion students must achieve each semester in order to maintain their financial aid under federally-supported programs.
  • SAR (Student Aid Report) - A summary of responses filed on one’s FAFSA. It is sent to the student and colleges / universities the student lists on their FASFA.
  • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) - A standardized test designed to measure a student's level of content knowledge before granting admission.
  • Scholarship - Financial aid that does not require a payment.
  • Semester - 1/2 year term in a school or college, typically lasting 15 to 18 weeks.
  • Semester GPA - Your grade point average for one term, also known as a "semester".
  • Subsidized Loan - Subsidized loans do not build interest for at least the first half of one's college education. They're called subsidized loans because the government subsidizes or pays back any interest for a time.
  • Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) - The TSIA is designed to determine a student’s readiness for college-level coursework in the general areas of reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Transcript - An academic record showing courses taken, grades received, academic status, and honors. An "official" transcript is stamped and sealed by the school.
  • Transfer of Credit - If a student chooses to change colleges, they must request a transfer of credits for classes taken to count as a part of degree requirements at their new college.
  • Trimester - At schools that use the trimester system, the school year is divided into three trimesters. Often called fall trimester, winter trimester and spring trimester.
  • Tuition - Tuition is amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment.
  • Undergraduate - Student who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree.
  • University - A university is composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional colleges which offers degree programs to students.
  • Undocumented Students - Students who lack lawful residency or visiting status in the country they live in.
  • Unsubsidized Loans - A federally funded loan that is not based on financial need. Interest build as soon as one begins college.