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ACT: American College Testing Program: The ACT tests four areas- English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning.

AP: Advanced Placement Tests of the College Entrance Examination Board

Candidate Notification Date: The date by which a college notifies a student of the admissions decision.

Candidate Reply Date: The date by which a student must notify the college of his/her enrollment intentions, May 1.

Common Application Form: A single application which is accepted by more than one hundred colleges as equal to their own applications. After completing the original application form, the student makes a copy for each college to which he/she plans to apply. Also available on computer disk.

CEEB: College Entrance Examination Board: A non-profit organization governed by college and secondary school members which oversees services and testing pertaining to college admissions. Every secondary school has a CEEB identification number.

CSS: College Scholarship Service: A service which does computation of financial needs using the PROFILE.

Deferral: The final evaluation of a student who has applied early is postponed for inclusion in the regular applicant pool.

ETS: Education Testing Service: The non-profit testing service hired by CEEB administer SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

FAFSA: Federal Application for Financial Student Aid. Required by all colleges when applying for aid.

Pell Grant: Scholarship aid from the federal government based on financial need. Institutions of higher education administer the grant.

PROFILE: PROFILE of the College Scholarship Service: This form is used to determine family's need. Required by many colleges (mostly private) when applying for aid, in addition to the FAFSA.

PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary SAT/national merit scholarship qualifying test. A test given to juniors to prepare them for the SAT. A high score may qualify a student for a National Merit Scholarship or certain scholarships for students of color.

SAT: A test that measures long-term verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities.

SAT Subject Tests: Hour long knowledge based tests offered in a variety of disciplines. (Only required at some highly selective colleges)

Student Search: A computer "match up" service between students and colleges that might meet their needs. If the student completes the Student Search Questionnaire when registering for the SAT, or the equivalent questionnaire on the ACT registration form, he/she may receive brochures and letters from colleges.

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - required exam for students who speak English non-natively. TOEFL is now a computer-based test and has four sections, all of which are mandatory (Listening, Structure, Reading, and Writing).


EARLY DECISION is a program whereby you may apply to your first choice college early in the fall of the senior year and be notified by mid-December. You agree to enroll, if accepted, and withdraw other applications upon admittance.

EARLY ACTION permits you to apply to a college or university of your choice and receive a decision early in the senior year, well in advance of the normal spring response dates. Though you will hear early regarding your admission, you are not committed to attend and you may apply to other colleges. You will not be required to make a decision regarding enrolling before May 1.

REGULAR DECISION is a plan in which institutions review most of their applications before notifying the majority of candidates of their admission. In this process, colleges set a deadline for completing applications and will respond to completed applications by a specified date. If you are applying for financial aid, you will follow aid application deadlines set by the school. You may apply to other colleges. You will not be required to make a decision regarding enrolling before May 1.

ROLLING ADMISSIONS is a policy whereby some colleges and universities notify a student of the admissions decision as soon as the application is received and reviewed. It is wise to apply early because once the admission quota is reached applications are no longer accepted.

WAIT LIST is a term used by institutions to describe a process in which they may initially delay offering or deny you admission. Rather, the institution extends to you the possibility of admission. Please refer to the Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities for the rights which you are assured if placed on a wait list.

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