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College Terminology

PSAT  a practice exam for the SAT Reasoning Test, which is recommended for 10th, 11th graders.   11th graders are required to take this exam if interested in participating in the National Merit Scholarships Program.

ACT   A test of English, mathematics, reading, science and writing given throughout the year and required or recommended by many colleges as part of the admissions process.

SAT I Reasoning Test:  A test of critical reading, mathematics and writing abilities given by the College Board throughout the year and required or recommended by many colleges as part of the admissions process.

SAT II Subject Tests:      are tests designed to measure student’s knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge.  Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection.  The University of California requires students to take two subjects in 2 different disciplines.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAThe application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid. The application becomes available on January 1st and is due no later than March 2nd of the senior year.

GPA Verification Form  Parents must give the high school consent to release the student’s GPA to the state for consideration for the Cal Grant A,B and C.  For more information visit 

CSS Profile    Some colleges require this additional financial aid form regarding family’s financial situation to award private grant and scholarship funds.

Advanced Placement Granting of credit and/or assignment to an advanced course on the basis of examination in the month of May, equivalent to an introductory course.

NCAA Clearing House  Student athletes who plan to play sports at Division I or Division II must complete the NCAA form by the beginning of their senior year.  For more information visit

Regular Decision   Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.

Early Action (EA)  Students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution’s regular response date. – Non-Binding

Early Decision (ED)  Students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted they definitely will enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur early. Is Binding 

Restrictive Early Action (REA) Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early.  They may be restricted from applying ED or EA or REA to other institutions.  If offered enrollment, they have until May 1 to confirm. Non-Binding