Early Action:

A college admission policy that allows applicants to apply and receive notice of their admission early. Applicants accepted under early action are not under a binding agreement to attend that school and may submit applications to other schools.


What Is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

Read more HERE.


Student Aid Application:

Any federal student aid program, some of the campus-based student aid programs, and some of the state student aid programs must first complete the federally approved student aid application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may need to fill out additional forms, such as the Financial Aid Profile (FAP) for a small fee if the college they are applying to or the state in which they live requires additional information for awarding their own funds.



Before each year of college, apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Your college uses your FAFSA data to determine your federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid to the student.

Apply For FAFSA: Federal Student Aid:


Admission’s Office Application Score:

A scoring system used (in differing formats) by every college. It is how they rank their applicants. Some colleges use a number system or letter system to son. Most colleges will have an applicant package read by 2 admissions officers. If your student’s score is above or below the cutoff mark, the student would be admitted or rejected respectively. If between the two marks, a committee decides your student’s fate.



Process of ranking student who have already been accepted to college. For example, a college may want 500 freshmen, but sends out 1500 acceptance letters. It then may use aid to entice the 500 most wanted students.


Buying Freshmen (Preferential Packaging):

The students who are the most attractive to a college receive the best financial aid package, more grants and free money, and/or less loans and work-study. This can also take the form of large tuition discounts, or more aid than the student’s need. More than half of colleges admit to following this practice.


Cost of Attendance (COA):

This number will differ at each school. It includes tuition, fees, room and board, books and materials, transportation costs, and living expenses.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC):

The amount a student and his or her family are judged capable of paying. The contribution remains constant no matter where the student plans to attend college. In other words it comes down to your INCOME + ASSETS + No. of KIDS you have IN COLLEGE


Dependent Student:

A student who is dependent on their parents for support. Both the parents’ and the student’s income and assets are evaluated when determining how much a family can contribute towards college costs.


Dual Enrollment “Move On When Ready”:

A program that provides funding for students at eligible high schools that are enrolled to take approved college-level coursework for credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements.


Financial-Aid Leveraging:

Practice of cutting the sticker price to specifically targeted groups of applicants. The goal is to maximize the financial aid dollar and admit larger numbers of students with the same dollars.


Financial Need:

The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.



A student’s record has been marked for special consideration. Children of alumni, students with special talents, and under-represented minorities may get a flag. These applications usually are separated from the common pool and considered separately.



Some universities require a student body to be comprised of certain ratios of men/women. Admissions and financial aid offices then attempt to build a class with these pre-determined characteristics.


Independent Student:

A student who is not dependent on their parents for support. Only the student’s income and assets and those of a spouse are evaluated when determining a contribution towards college costs. Generally, students must be at least 24 years of age by December 31 of the award year to qualify as an independent. Students with legal dependents, married students, and graduate students qualify.


Legacy Rating:

Children of alumni are called legacies, and sometimes have an advantage over others in the admissions process (not true in the financial aid process). The size of the admissions advantage may be determined by the parent’s generosity in alumni fund drives.


Room and Board:

An allowance for the cost of housing and food while attending college or a career school.


College Move In List: 

Check out the What To Bring List HERE.



This is exactly what it sounds like. It is money that does not have to be repaid and the college will provide the student with the job. Work/study jobs pay minimum wage. The work commitment is fulfilled once the student has earned the amount of the work/study awarded.



Your First Year of College: How To Be Successful Infographic: 


Click Image For Resource Guide


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About The Article Author:

Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.

I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté

Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like. 

Rachana Nadella-Somayajula,
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents

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~ Joyce Maynard


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