the following is a glossary guide to help you understand a little
more about college terms and everything that may be involved in
getting your student into a University.
A B C
D E F
I J K L
M N O
P Q R
U V W
X Y Z
Administered by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education; provides financial incentives for tuition, required fees,
and books to A+ high school graduates to attend any Missouri community
college or area vocational technical school.
Recognition of a college or university by any of the regional or
national accrediting bodies, indicating that the institution as
a whole has been judged to be meeting its objectives.
ACT Assessment or “ACT Test”
A group of tests administered by ACT and required or recommended
by many colleges as part of the admission process. The tests
measure educational development in English, mathematics, reading,
and science reasoning and are given at specified test centers throughout
Granting of credit and/or assignment to an advanced course on the
basis of evidence that a student has mastered the equivalent of
an introductory course.
Advantage Missouri Program
Allows a student to borrow up to $2,500 per year in loans that may
be forgiven if the student is employed in a designated high-demand
occupation in Missouri after completing a designated academic program.
A combination of aid (possibly including a scholarship, grant, loan,
and work) determined by a college financial aid office.
A group of tests developed by ACT and required at many two-year
colleges as a part of the course placement and advising process.
The tests measure a student’s reading, writing, and mathematical
skills and are administered by the college.
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“Bright Flight” Scholarship
Merit-based scholarships to encourage high school seniors to attend
an approved Missouri postsecondary institution of their choice full
Candidates Reply Date
A policy among subscribing institutions that permits students to
with until May 1 to choose, without penalty, among offers of admission/financial
Charles Callagher Student Financial Assistance Program
Need-based grant for Missouri residents to attend an approved Missouri
postsecondary institution full time.
A rating that compares your cumulative grade point average to other
members of your class. Class rank is often used as a college
admissions and scholarship standard.
The system by which a college divides its year into periods of time
for instruction and awarding credit. Common systems include
the traditional semester (two per year); the early semester (two
per year with the first ending before Christmas); the quarter (three
terms of approximately 12 weeks each); the trimester (three semesters
per year, the third semester replacing summer school); and 4-1-4
(two equal terms of about 16 weeks each, with a 4-week interim term).
College Transfer Courses
Courses intended for transfer of college credit to bachelor’s
degree programs elsewhere.
Cooperative Work-Study Education
A program in which a student alternates between full-time college
study and full-time paid employment related to the area of study.
Under this plan, a bachelor’s degree often requires five years
to complete. However, students have valuable work experience
and often get higher starting salaries when they finish college.
Cost of Attendance
Estimate of a student’s educational expenses, including tuition,
fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal, and other related
educational expenses, for the period of enrollment.
Granted upon successful completion of a course that meets for a
minimum of 8, 100 minutes of instruction.
Credit by Examination
A program through which many colleges grant course credit based
on results of the Advanced Placement Tests (AP), the CEEB College-Level
Examination Program (CLEP), Regents College Examinations (RCE),
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), or another examination
developed by colleges.
A unit of academic credit that often represents one hour of class
time per week for a period of study (semester, quarter, etc.).
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When a borrower is 270 days delinquent in making student
The practice of some colleges of allowing an accepted student to
postpone enrollment for one year.
or Access Office
The Disability Services or Disability Support Services (DS/DSS)
Office at a college or university. This office helps students with
disabilities receive appropriate accommodations in their classes
as long as proper documentation is provided and the student requests
The Disability Services or Disability Support Services Office at
a college or university. This office helps students with disabilities
receive appropriate accommodations in their classes as long as proper
documentation is provided and the student requests accommodations.
An application process that permits students to make application to
an institution of preference and receive a decision during the senior
year, well in advance of the normal response dates in spring.
The candidate is not committed to enroll at that particular institution.
Admitting students of superior ability into college courses and programs
before they have completed the standard high school program.
An application process in which a student makes a commitment to the
institution that, if admitted, the student will enroll. Only
a student who can make a deliberate and well-reasoned first choice
decision should apply under an Early Decision plan because the institution
will usually require a nonrefundable deposit well before May 1.
Course students may select to meet total graduation requirements.
(Example: You may enroll in an art, history, or sociology class.)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Federal Consolidation Loan
Amount the parents and student can reasonably be expected to pay
toward the cost of attendance; the amount is based on a federal
analysis of the family’s financial information reported on
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An option for those who wish to combine all of their eligible student
loans into one loan and make one payment to a single holder.
Federal Direct Loans
Loans made by the federal government directly to qualifying students
and parents through participating colleges. Stafford and PLUS
loans are available under the Direct Loan program.
Federal Pell Grant
Financial assistance awarded by the federal government on the basis
of need and designed to provide the “floor” of an aid
package for postsecondary education. The grant may be used toward
tuition, room and board, books, or other educational costs and requires
Federal Perkins Loan Program
Loans funded by the federal government and awarded by the institution.
The loans feature low interest rates and are repayable over an extended
period of time.
Federal PLUS Program
Provides low-interest federal loans to credit-approved parents of
eligible undergraduate students. Repayment begins 60 days after
loan funds are disbursed. Loans are available from participating
banks, lending institutions, and participating Direct Lending schools.
A government-supported financial aid program coordinated through financial
aid offices whereby an eligible student (based on need) may work part
time while attending class at least half time, generally in career-related
The difference between a student’s cost of attendance and expected
family contribution; the student must demonstrate financial need to
be eligible for need-based financial assistance programs.
Free Application for Federal Student
The application required for students to be considered for federal
student financial aid. Obtain a FAFSA from a high school or
college for the appropriate year (usually available in November).
The FAFSA is processed free of charge, and it is used by most state
agencies and colleges.
Period of time before a student borrower must begin repaying an
An indicator of a student’s overall scholastic performance.
The GPA is computed by multiplying the number of grade points earned
in each course (generally, A = 4, B = 3, C =2, D = 1, F = 0) time
the number of course hours/credit hours, then dividing the sum by
the total number of course hours/credit hours carried.
Established by your local school district and must include
Awards based on financial need that do not require repayment.
Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies,
and educational institutions.
Guaranty Agency (Guarantor)
Organization that administers the Federal Family Education Loan
Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.
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Any program offering opportunity for superior students to enrich their
educational experience through independent, advanced, or accelerated
An arrangement that allows a student to earn college credit through
individual study, usually planned with and supervised by a faculty
Banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions that provide
the actual student loan funds for the federal student loan programs.
Money borrowed that must be repaid with interest; student borrowers
must repay their loans even if they do not complete or are dissatisfied
with their education.
The subject of study in which a student chooses to specialize: a series
of related courses, taken primarily in the junior and senior years.
Midwest Student Exchange Program
Reduced tuition rate for Missouri residents who enroll in designated
degree programs at participating institutions in Kansas, Michigan,
Minnesota, and Nebraska.
Missouri College Guarantee Program
Need-based grant for Missouri residents based on high school and college
Missouri Saving for Tuition (MO$T) Program
State-sponsored savings programs that allows state tax exempt contributions
of up to $8,000 annually per contributor; for more information, call
the MO$T toll free number (1-888-414-MO$T).
NCAA Initial-Eligibility Certification
In order to participate in intercollegiate sports at NCAA Division
I and Division II colleges, student-athletes must submit their high
school transcript, the Clearinghouse “Student Release Form,”
and ACT/SAT scores to the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.
When registering for either test, students should enter “9999”
as one of the college choices to have test scores sent to the Clearinghouse.
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The policy of some college of admitting virtually all high school
graduates, regardless of academic qualifications such as high school
grades and admission test scores.
This fee is up to 3% of the student loan amount. Your lender
will deduct the origination fee from your student loan proceeds and
remit the fee to the U.S. Department of Education.
A tenth-grade assessment program from ACT designed to help students
improve their postsecondary planning and preparation. PLAN contains
academic tests, an interest inventory, study skills assessment, and
student information section and is complementary in content and format
to the ACT Assessment.
Any educational institution offering a course of study beyond the
high school level.
A course that must be taken before enrollment in another related course.
(Example: French I is a prerequisite for French II.)
Period of time after the grace period when a borrower must make
monthly payments on an educational loan.
A course student may select to meet a graduation requirement.
(Example: You may choose to enroll in Geometry or Calculus to meet
An admission procedure by which the college considers each application
as soon as all required materials have been received. The college
then notifies each applicant of acceptance or rejection as soon as
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Student Aid Report (SAR)
Information received approximately 3-6 weeks after your FAFSA has
been processed. It reports the information from student applications
and, if there are no questions or problems with an application, the
SAR reports the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
A test of verbal and mathematical ability given by the College Entrance
Examination Board (CEEB) throughout the year at specified test centers.
Awards to students based on merit or merit plus need, which do not
need to be repaid.
Special Term Study
A program of concentrated study on a single topic offered by some
college for short periods such as one month. Special speakers,
resources, or field experiences are often made available.
Student Support Services (SSS)
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
This is a TRIO program designed to assist college students. Students
typically meet with a mentor, and can receive tutoring and other
benefits depending on the program.
Need-based loan available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students;
generally, the federal government pays the interest as long as the
borrower is enrolled at least half time and during the borrower’s
six-month grace period and authorized deferment periods.
The official record of high school or college courses and grades generally
required as part of the college application. There is usually
a cost to have your transcript released. Please note that most
institutions will not release your transcripts until all unpaid balances
have been taken care of.
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
A loan that is not need-based but has the same terms and conditions
as a subsidized Federal Stafford Loan except the borrower is responsible
for all interest payments.
A term used by institutions to describe a process by which they may
initially delay offering or denying admission. Rather, the institution
extends the possibility of admission in the future. Colleges
offer admission to wait list candidates if insufficient numbers of
regularly admitted candidates accept their offers of admission.
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