Counseling Department Glossary
Award Letter: A letter telling you what financial aid (if any) your college is offering to you (includes types and amounts of aid offered, specific program information, etc.). You may choose to accept some or all of what is offered.
Credit (or Credit Hour): A unit of measurement institutions give for fulfilling course requirements. Most colleges require that you complete a certain number in order to graduate.
Cost of Attendance: Includes any cost associated with attending college: Tuition and associated fees, room and board, books, supplies, etc.
Early Decision (ED) vs. Early Action (EA): ED and EA allow students to apply early to schools they know they want to attend. What’s the difference?
Early Decision is binding. If accepted, you must attend that school and withdraw any applications sent to other schools. You will not be able to compare financial aid offers.
Early Action is not binding. Even if you are accepted, you may compare admissions and financial aid offers and wait to commit to the college until later in the year.
Some schools now offer Single-Choice Early Action. This option is similar to Early Action, except that you may not apply early to other colleges (though you may apply regular decision).
Many ED or EA deadlines occur in the fall. Ask your college whether ED or EA is an option and if you can apply early to other schools. Talk to your counselor and ask your prospective school for more information.
Enrollment Status: Indication of whether you attend full or part time. In general, you must attend at least half time (or in some cases full time) to qualify for financial aid.
Expected Family Contribution: Amount students and their family are expected to contribute toward cost of attendance.
FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students must fill out the FAFSA each year to find out how much federal aid they are eligible to receive.
Open Admissions: Students are admitted regardless of academic qualifications.
Out-of-State Student: Generally applies to students attending a public university outside of their home state. Out-of-state students must pay a higher tuition rate unless they establish legal residency for that state.
Rolling Admissions: There is no set admissions deadline date; qualified students are accepted until classes are filled.
Undergraduate Student: A student who has not completed a baccalaureate or first professional degree.