Academic Honors Diploma - One of three diploma types
offered by the State of Indiana. The Academic Honors diploma
(AHD) reflects a curriculum that exceeds the General
diploma and CORE
40 requirements and requires
students to complete additional credits in various subject
areas. The AHD is considered the most academically rigorous
diploma of the three certified by the State of Indiana,
and students must maintain at least a B average to receive
ACT – One of the most common college entrance
exams, often required for admission to many colleges. The
ACT consists of four sections including math, science, English
and reading as well as an optional writing assessment
and is usually taken for the first time in the spring of
the junior year and again in the senior year.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) - Total taxable
income (including wages, interest, capital gains, etc.) adjusted
downward for certain deductions but not including
standard or itemized deductions.
Admissions Office - The office on a college campus
which houses the people who recruit, interview and admit students
to the college.
AP – Advanced Placement (or AP) refers to
college-level classes offered by some high schools in various
subject areas. Students participating in AP courses often
take national AP exams prior to the end of the school year
for placement purposes in college and/or for testing out
of certain college requirements. Students can earn college
credits at many Colleges and Universities for receiving certain
scores on the AP exams.
Combination Financial Aid - Financial aid awarded
based on both the financial situation and the merit of the
CORE 40 - One of three diploma types offered by
the State of Indiana. The CORE 40 diploma reflects a curriculum
that exceeds the General
diploma requirements and
requires students to complete additional credits in various
subject areas. The CORE 40 is considered the minimum college-track
Cost of Attendance - The total cost of attending
a given college including tuition & fees, room & board, books,
transportation, personal expenses and all other necessary
expenses associated with going to that college.
CSS Profile- a secondary financial aid form administered by the College
Board sometimes required by colleges using the Institutional Methodology.
Dependent Student- a student who is dependent for financial aid purposes
and is required to file the FAFSA using both student and parent information and
who does not meet any of the criteria required for independent
Early Action - An admission application option in
which a student files for early admission to his/her top choice
college (or colleges) early in the senior year (sometimes
as early as October but usually no later than the beginning
of December). In contrast to Early
Decision, the student is not committed to attending a
particular college at the point of acceptance under this option.
(Note: Some colleges do not allow students
applying to their institutions to submit multiple Early Action
applications, so check with the colleges you are considering
to see if this applies.)
Early Decision - An admission application option
in which a student files for admission to his/her top choice
college early in the senior year (sometimes as early as
October but usually no later than the beginning of December)
under the guiding principle that the student will be bound
to attend that college if accepted.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - The amount of
money a student/family is expected to pay toward college costs
in a given academic year for a given student according to
the federal formula.
Federal Methodology (FM) (or federal formula)
- The federal calculation that is used to determine a student’s EFC.
- This formula is used to figure out a student’s
eligibility for federal grants, loans and/or work-study
- Many states use the same formula to determine
a student’s eligibility for state grants, and many
colleges use it to award their need-based
Federal Work-Study Program - A student work program
on college campuses that enables students to work during the
school year to earn money to help cover their expenses. Federal
work-study jobs are awarded to students based on financial
Financial Aid Office - The office on a college campus
that is responsible for processing students’ financial
Financial Aid Packages - The financial aid awards
offered by colleges after a student has been admitted and
all necessary financial aid paperwork has been processed.
Includes the total cost of attendance, the student’s
EFC, and all of the sources of financial
aid that a student may be eligible for in the coming year
at the given university.
Financial Need - The difference between a college’s
listed cost of attendance
and the student’s EFC.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Federal form a student must file in order to qualify for
federal funds, state grants and college need-based
- This form must be filed each year.
- Some states require that the form be completed
prior to the year in question. In Indiana,
the student must complete the form in the spring semester
of his/her senior year of high school (and each year thereafter)
between January 1 and March 10 (current deadline).
- Some colleges have an additional (sometimes
earlier) deadline by which they request all applicants file
- The information provided on the FAFSA is
used to calculate a student’s EFC.
GED (General Education Development
Diploma) - High school
equivalency diploma for those who have not received a traditional
high school diploma from the State. The GED requires completion
of a test that covers writing skills, math, social studies,
science, literature and the arts. It is sometimes referred
to as a general equivalency diploma.
General Diploma - One of three high school diploma
types offered by the State of Indiana. The General diploma
reflects the minimum diploma requirements necessary to receive
a diploma from an Indiana high school. The General diploma
is not considered a college-track diploma.
GQE (Graduation Qualifying Exam) - Also known
as the 10th grade ISTEP exam, this test is required by the
State of Indiana in order to receive an Indiana high school
diploma. The test consists of English and mathematics sections
and is first administered during the 10th grade year. Students
have up to five chances to pass the test before graduating
from high school.
Independent Student - a student who is independent for financial aid purposes
and can file the FAFSA without submitting any parental information (spousal information
is required if the student is married); students must meet one of the following criteria
in order to qualify as an independent student:
- The student is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18)
- The student is married
- The student has a child for which s/he provides more than half of the child's financial
support AND/OR another dependent (other than a spouse) that lives with the student for which
the student provides more than half of that person's financial support
- The student will be 24 years of age or older by January 1 of the academic year in which s/he is applying for financial aid
- The student is enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program
- The student is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces
International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) - The IB
diploma is awarded to students who pursue rigorous pre-college
coursework and successfully complete required examinations.
It is based on a curriculum that involves languages, sciences,
humanities and mathematics and is intended to be an academically
challenging program for highly motivated students. The IB
diploma is offered at a very limited number of high schools.
Institutional Methodology (IM) - A modified version
of the federal formula used by some colleges and universities
that looks at additional assets and/or resources in a student’s
household. The way student and parent contributions are calculated
also is different.
- Use of an “institutional methodology”
won’t affect federal or state need-based
grants but it may mean the college will expect more
money overall from a family.
- Not all colleges use the Institutional Methodology.
Most of the colleges that use the IM are selective, private
- Many colleges that use the IM require that
students fill out a second financial aid form called the
ISTEP (Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress) - State mandated achievement test required for all Indiana
students grades 3-10 (as of Fall 2004). The test assesses
English/language and mathematics skills, and a science component
is included in the 5th grade exam.
Merit-Based Financial Aid - Financial aid awarded
based on the talent (academic or otherwise) of the student.
Merit-based aid can be awarded for athletics, art, music,
academics, community service, leadership, and many other factors.
The factors considered vary among colleges and scholarship
NCAA Eligibility Center - Students who plan to play Division
I or Division II sports during their freshman year of college
must register with the NCAA during their senior year of high
school. This registration process certifies that the student
has met certain academic and other standards, as required
under NCAA guidelines in order to compete and receive athletic-based
Need-Based Financial Aid - Financial aid awarded
based solely on the financial situation of the student.
Need-based aid eligibility is determined based on the FAFSA
and sometimes additional financial aid forms required
by a college.
Parent Contribution (PC) - The portion of the EFC
that is expected from the income and assets of the parent(s)/stepparent
in the student’s household.
PLAN - Often referred to as the “pre-ACT”,
it is a practice test for the ACT assessment
exam. The PLAN test is offered in the sophomore year in high
PSAT - A practice test for the SAT college
entrance exam. The Preliminary SAT is a junior-level test
but is often taken in the sophomore year for practice and
again in the junior year. The PSAT in the junior year serves
as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Room & Board - The fees charged by a college
for a dorm room (or other living facility) and meals during
the school year.
SAT – One of the most common college
entrance exams often required for admission to many colleges.
The SAT consists of verbal, math and writing sections and
is usually taken for the first time in the spring of the
junior year and again in the senior year, as needed.
SAT Subject Test - Tests (largely multiple choice)
that measure a student’s
knowledge of specific subject areas. These tests can be
required by some colleges for college admission and/or college
placement in certain subjects.
Student Aid Report (SAR) - The report that is processed
and sent to a student, showing the student's EFC, after
s/he files the FAFSA.
Copies of the report also are sent to the
student’s state grant agency and the colleges the
student lists on the FAFSA.
Student Asset Contribution (SAC) - The portion of
the EFC that is expected from any assets (cash, checking,
savings, investments, trust fund, etc.) in the student’s
Student Income Contribution (SIC) - The portion of
the EFC that is expected from student income (if the student
earns more money in a calendar year than the amount allowed
under the Federal Methodology).
Tuition & Fees - The prices charged to students
to enroll in classes, including any fees that are required
as a part of enrollment. These fees can be charged per class,
per credit hour, or per semester.
Twenty-first Century Scholars - Scholarship program offered by the State of Indiana to students who enroll in the 7th or 8th grade year of school and fulfill the program requirements. The program guarantees college tuition at a public, in-state college/university or a comparable amount an independent, in-state college/university. There is a one-time financial eligibility requirement that must be met in order to qualify for the program.
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