GO BACK  :  Home > College Information Library


GO BACK  :  Home > References


GO BACK  :  Home > College Terminology

College Terminology

An award received upon graduation from college. It means you have completed a particular course of study.

Associate of Arts - A degree or certificate awarded upon satisfactory completion of a two-year course of study at a community college.

Bachelor of Arts - A degree awarded by a college or university upon satisfactory completion of a four-year course of study in the humanities, social sciences, and related studies.

Bachelor of Science - A degree awarded by a college or university upon satisfactory completion of a four-year course of study in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, etc.

Educational Opportunity Program - A program designed to assist low income and/or educationally disadvantaged students with admissions, academic support services, and financial aid at the University of California, California State University, and Community Colleges (EOPS). Eligibility criteria differs between campuses. Contact the campus of your choice for specific information.

Grade Point Average - an average of all letter grades earned in high school subjects, except physical education and ROTC.

The term applies to a degree program which, because of heavy enrollment may be temporarily closed to new students or may require supplementary screening or earlier application filing deadlines, i.e. Engineering.

Field of study in which a student pursues specialized study.

Lesser degree of specialization in a field of study.

A complete record of the student's high school grades in all subjects taken from grades 9 through 12.

Testing Programs

American College Testing Program - The ACT is an examination measuring the level of accomplishment in four subject areas: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Natural Sciences. These tests average 40 minutes a piece and are intended to test you on how well you do the kinds of academic work colleges expect you to do.

Educational Testing Service - This is an organization that administers the SAT I and SAT II tests provided by CEEB. Although ETS is a separate organization, most of the high school work is carried out under contract with CEEB. ETS is responsible for the production of test materials, the security of all test questions, the organization of test centers, and the proper reporting of scores.

National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test - This test is offered to juniors and is used as the basis for some scholarships from a wide range of sources. Some private colleges use it as an additional item of information in considering admissions. NMSQT semifinalists must take the SAT I by the following October to compete for the finalist eligibility.

Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test - The PSAT may be taken by sophomores and juniors who are interested in preparing for the SAT I. The PSAT is given just once a year in October on a Saturday. The test results are officially sent to colleges and are NOT used in the final admissions process. The PSAT also determines NMSQT finalists.

Scholastic Assessment Test I: Reasoning Test - The SAT I is one of the two most widely used tests in the college admissions field. It is a three hour test, primarily multiple-choice, that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities. The SAT I is given several times a year. The SAT I is a measure that allows admission officers to compare applicants and help make predictions about a student's performance in college.

The Scholastic Assessment Test II: Subject Tests are one-hour, primarily multiple-choice tests that measure your knowledge of particular subjects and your ability to apply that knowledge. Some colleges require one or more of these tests for admission or placement purposes. Check the requirements of the colleges you are considering applying to before deciding which test to take. UC requires three SAT II Subject Tests, including the Writing Test, the Mathematics Level I or IIC, and one test in one of the following areas: English literature, foreign language, science or social studies. On one test date a maximum of three SAT II subject tests may be taken.

Financial Aid

Each Cal Grant has different criteria. To apply, follow the instructions and complete the appropriate sections on the FAFSA, including "yes" to question 33 and completing section I: State Information. See your counselor for additional information and materials you will need. File the FAFSA form between 1/1 and March 2.

Financial Aid Form - The financial aid application required by most out-of-state schools. Check the schools you are applying to regarding the type of form required.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid- The financial aid form required by California schools. Complete between January 1 and March 2. The FAFSA is then processed and your financial need is determined in the form of an eligibility index.

(Administered by the California Student Aid Commission) These loans are for students who demonstrate financial need. Interest rate for new borrowers is variable, with a current cap of 8.25%.

Money for college, given to qualified applicants by the federal government. To apply, complete a FAFSA or FAF between January 1 and March 2.

Low interest loan (5%) sponsored by the federal government. Apply by completing the FAFSA or FAF and checking the appropriate box, indicating your preference for a loan.

Program which assists students to find part-time jobs on or off campus and subsidizes their wages; Awarded to students with need.