Admissions office: The office that processes applications and decides which students to admit or reject.
Award Letter: The document sent to an accepted student by a college that lists the amount and type of financial aid offered.
Certification of Finances: The purpose of the Certification of Finances is to help colleges and universities obtain complete and accurate information about the funds available to international applicants who want to study in the United States.
College: An educational institution that provides education at the undergraduate level for students that have completed high school.
College Consortium: A group of colleges that join together and allow their students to take classes and use the libraries on each member campus. An example is the Five-College Consortium (Amherst, U. Mass.-Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke and Smith colleges).
Common Application: An application form accepted by more than 450 universities and colleges. Some schools also require an institutional supplement.
Core Curriculum: A group of required courses in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences, which a student must take in order to graduate. Colleges and universities individually set their core curriculum or, in some cases, do not have one.
Cost of Attendance: The total cost of attending a college or university, which includes:
- Books, Computer and Supplies
- Room and Board
- Travel Expenses and Personal Expenses
- Tuition and Fees
- Health Insurance
CSS Profile: A form distributed by the College Board. Used by some schools to request additional financial information for assessing need for financial aid.
Distribution requirements: Required classes in different areas of study.
Division I,II,III: NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) groupings of colleges for athletic competition purposes.
Early Action: An application plan that allows students to apply and be notified of an admission decision prior to the regular application and notification schedule. Usually the deadline is November 1st, and applicants are notified in mid December. Under this plan, students are allowed to apply to other colleges and universities.
Early Admission: A policy under which students who have not completed high school are admitted and enroll full-time in college, usually after their junior year.
Early Decision: A binding application plan under the same time frame as Early Action. If accepted, the Early Decision applicant must enroll in the university and withdraw any applications to other colleges or universities.
Restrictive Early Action: Similar to Early Action except that it restricts a student’s ability to apply early to other institutions.
EFC: Expected Family Contribution to the yearly cost of college.
Extracurricular: Non-Academic activity and/or interest pursued by the student, such as clubs, hobbies, sports and work.
FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid – limited to US citizens.
GPA: Grade point average (cumulative since 9th grade).
HECA: Higher Educational Consultants Association
IEC: International Educational Consultant
Liberal Arts: A broad program of study that teaches critical thinking and writing skills.
The List: The list of schools which are a good match or fit for the particular student, developed with much research and collaboration between student, IEC and parents. This is a list of schools to which the student will submit applications.
Major: A concentrated area of study with specific requirements usually selected by the student at the end of the second year of college.
Merit Aid: Academic scholarships that are awarded by colleges to outstanding students. These scholarships are usually renewable, often with certain minimum requirements and are not determined by need.
Minor: A second main area of study that has fewer requirements than the major.
NACAC: National Association for College Admission Counselling
NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association. An organization that ensures academic minimums are met in order for student-athletes to qualify for Athletic Scholarships.
Need-Aware or Need-Sensitive: Institutions take into account Financial Need when making the decision whether or not to admit a student.
Need-Blind: Institutions do not take into account an applicant’s Financial Need when evaluating a candidate for admission.
OACAC: Overseas Association of College Admissions Counselors
PSAT: Preliminary SAT is a short version of the SAT which can be taken by high school sophomores or juniors as a practice test, as well as a qualifying exam for U.S. citizens for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Rolling Admissions: There are no fixed application deadlines, and each student’s application is reviewed and accepted or rejected as it is received until the class filled.
SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test. A standardized test used in the admissions process by many colleges and universities.
Third Culture Kids: “A person who has spent a significant part of his developmental years outside of their parent’s culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any.”, Pollock, David and Van Reken, Ruth, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Nicholas Brearly Publishing, 2009
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language. An International English language test recognized and required by most colleges and universities.
Transcript: Official record of a student’s courses and grades, which is required by colleges to be sent directly by the student’s high school.
Universal College Application: An online college application for a group of approximately 80 colleges and universities. Some schools also require an institutional supplement.
University: Synonymous with colleges with perhaps a greater emphasis on graduate studies and research
Wait List: A student is not accepted or rejected but placed on a list until the college knows how many accepted students will matriculate. At that point institutions admit students off the list. Some rarely take students from the wait list and others take a large number.
Yield: The percentage of students offered admission to a college who then attend as freshmen