College Admissions Index – This index uses a formula to combine a student’s grade point average with his or her standardized pre-college test scores (ACT or SAT) into a single score or index. Typically, large public universities utilize these to manage a large number of applications. The CSU system uses an index system.
Admit or Acceptance Rate – This is the percentage of students who are accepted out of the total number of students who applied to that college or university.
College Balanced Apply List – This is a list that has an effective balance of colleges categorized by your individual chances of admission or Safety (high chance), Target (medium chance), or Reach (low chance) categories.
College – is an institution of higher learning, especially one providing a general or liberal arts educations, usually leading to a bachelor’s degree.
Comprehensive Review – This considers each individual application, including grades, test scores, number of and performance in honors and AP courses, quality of senior year courses, outstanding work in an academic field, quality of performance in light of opportunities offered at your high school, recent and marked improvement in academic performance, special talents, awards, achievements, special interests, leadership, community service, academic achievements in light of your life’s experiences and special circumstances, etc..
Early Action – This is a non-restrictive application. Students apply to an institution and receive their admission decision ahead of those applying through regular decision. Students are not obligated to accept the offer and may apply to other colleges.
Early Decision – This is a restrictive application. A student is committed to the institution if accepted. Students may apply to other colleges, but can only file one ED application. The only exception to attending is if the university does not offer a financial aid award that would make attendance possible.
Graduation Rate – This is the percentage of students who graduate within the stated number of years: usually reported for 4 or 6 years.
Impaction – This is when a college, university, department or major has more students apply than spots available.
Liberal Arts and Sciences – aim to expose students to a wide breath of courses in humanities and both physical and social sciences to provide general knowledge and critical thinking skills. Liberal arts and science colleges offer professors focused on undergraduate teaching rather than research and publications, more interaction with professors, smaller student populations, and a more intimate residential campus community.
National Commitment Day or Intent to Register Day – Students have until May 1 to consider their options & confirm enrollment at one college/university. Offers are no longer guaranteed past May 1.
Public vs. Private Universities – Most US public universities are state universities subsidized by state governments to lower tuition costs below that of private colleges. Federal public universities include military academies and post-graduate institutions. Private universities are privately funded and operated, although many receive government subsidies.
Research Universities – while providing undergraduate degrees, devote a large portion of their mission, resources, and focus to graduate education and research: discoveries and inventions. These universities can be either public or private and vary according to size, focus, mission, selectivity, and the number of degree programs offered.
Restrictive Early Action – Students applying under this plan receive a decision ahead of regular applicants. The colleges offering this plan will have restrictions on students applying to other early plans. Students need to check with the individual colleges. Students are not obligated to attend under this plan.
Retention Rate – This is the number and percentage of students returning for sophomore year.
Rolling College Admission – This is also a non-restrictive application. The college reviews and makes decisions as applications are submitted. A student can apply to other colleges. It is advised to file rolling admission applications early.
UC/CSU a through g courses – This is a list of required courses to be completed with a minimum of C grades for admission into the CSU and/or UC systems.
University – is an institution of learning of the highest level (including bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees); having undergraduate colleges and graduate studies together, sometimes with several professional schools.