Glossary of Education Terms

Terms Definitions
AA Associate of Arts Degree
AAI Adjusted Available Income
Above-the-Line The term “above-the-line” refers to the calculation of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). If an exclusion from income occurs above-the-line, it affects the calculation of AGI. Itemized deductions occur below-the-line and do not affect the calcula
Academic Credit Academic credit signifies that a student completed a course of study. Completion of a degree or certification program may require the student to earn a particular number of academic credits.
Academic Transcript A transcript is a record of the classes taken by a student and the studen transcript is a record of the classes taken by a student and the students academic performance.
Academic Year An academic year is the school year of an educational institution. Most colleges and universities have an academic year that runs from August or September to May or June.
Accelerated Study Accelerated study refers to a program of study in which the student will be completing the requirements for a degree or certificate in less than the normal timeframe
Access Accreditation of an institution of higher education occurs when an accrediting agency conducts an intensive review of the quality of the institutionân an accrediting agency conducts an intensive review of the quality of the institutions education and trai
Accountability The notion that people or an organization should be held responsible for improving student acheivement and should be rewarded or sanctioned for their success or lack of.
Accrual Date The accrual date is the date when interest begins to be charged on a loan, usually starting on the date of disbursement
Accrue To accrue is to accumulate periodically over time
Accrued Interest Accrued interest is interest that has accumulated on a debt or investment. Often the term "accrued interest" refers to the interest that is payable but not yet paid
ACH Automated Clearing House
ACT American College Testing Program. A standardized college admission test. It features four main sections: English, math, reading and science — and an optional essay section.
Additional Insubsidized Federal Stafford Loan When a dependent student's parents are denied a Federal Parent PLUS loan due to adverse cresit history, the student becomes eligible for increased unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan limits, the same loan limits that are available to independent students.
Adequate Yearly Progress An individual state's measure of yearly progress toward achieving state academic standards. Adequate yearly progress is the minimum level of improvement that states, school districts, and schools must achieve each year, according to federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Adjusted Available Income Adjusted available income is the income that remains after allowances for taxes, employment expenses, and basic living expenses have been subtracted
Adjusted Gross Income Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is the total income, including both earned and unearned income after subtracting certain exclusions from income, but before subtracting deductions and exemptions.
Adjustment An adjustment is a change to data elements on the FAFSA that are used to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC) or cost of attendance (COA). Adjustmetns occur at the discretion of the college financial aid administrator after a review of documen
Administrative Forbearance An administrative forbearance is a short-term suspension of the obligation to repay a loan, granted at the discretion of the lender, usually to accommodate a transition in the status of the loan.
Administrative Wage Garnishment Administrative wage garnishment (AWG) is a form of wage garnishment ( a mechanism used to seize an defaulted borrower's earnings to repat their debts) available to the U.S. Department of Education, which may implement it administratively, without needing
Admission College admission is the process of applying and being accepted for enrollment in a college or university
Admission Test Scores Admission test scores are the student's scores on a standardized college admissions test, such as the ACT
Admissions Test Also known as college entrance exams, these are tests designed to measure students knowledge and skills
Admit-Deny An admit-deny situation occurs when a college grant admission to a student but fails to award the student the financial aid he or she needs to be able to afford to enroll at the college
Advanced Placement A series of voluntary exams based on college-level courses taken in high school. High school students who do well on one or more of these exams have the opportunity to earn credit, advanced placement, or both for college.
Adverse Credit History Borrowers with an adverse credit history are ineligible for the Federal PLUS loan. An adverse credit history occurs when the borrower has a current delinquency of 90 or more days on more than $2,085 in total debt, the borrower had more than $2,085 in total
AFDC Aid to families with Dependent Children(Replaced by TANF)-
Affected Individual An affected individual, as defined by the HEROES Act of 2003, is an active-duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, a person who lives or works in a disaster area or a person who suffers economic hardship because of a war, military operation or national emergency.
AGI Adjusted Gross Income
Agreement to Serve As a condition of receiving a TEACH Grant, the recipient must sign an agreement to serve, which commits the recipient to teach for four out of the eight years after graduation and explains that the grant will be converted retroactively to an unsubsidized
AI Available Income
Alternative Assesments Ways other than standardized tests to get information about what students know and where they need help, such as oral reports, projects, performances, experiments, and class participation.
AMT Alternative Minimum Tax
Annual Percentage Rate The annual percentage rate (APR) is an annualized interest rate that includes the effects of compound interest. The definition of APR is specified by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z
Anticipated Graduation Date The anticipated graduation date is the date a student expects to graduate and become available for employment. The commencement of loan repayment is based on the borrowers actual graduation date.
AP Advanced Placement
APA Asset Protection Allowance
Articulation Agreement An agreement between two-year and four-year colleges that makes it easier to transfer credits between them. It spells out which courses count for degree credit and the grades you need to earn to get credit.
AS Associate of Science Degree
Asset Protection Allowance The asset protection allowance shelters a portion of assets from being assessed by the need analysis formula
Assistantship An assistantship is a form of financial aid where the student performs services in exchange for a full or partial tuition waiver and a living stipend. The most common types of assistantships are research assistantships and teaching assistantships
Associate's Degree An Associate's degree awarded by two year colleges, such as community colleges.
At Risk Youth An at-risk youth is a student who is at risk of failing to graduate from high school or college. Examples include low-income students, first-generation college students, students who are single parents, students who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
ATB Ability to Benefit
ATI Allowances against Total Income
Award Amount An award amount is the dollar value of a form of financial aid, such as the amount of a private scholarship
Award Letter A financial aid award letter (also called a financial aid notification) is a paper or electronic document from a college that describes the types and amounts of financial aid offered to the student. The award letter also explains the terms and conditions
Award Year An award year is a 12-month period that typically runs from July 1 to June 30.
AWG Administrative wage garnishment
AY Academic year or Award Year
AYP Adequate Yearly Progress
Benchmark checkpoint set throughout the year so that teachers can make sure students are on track for learning the curriculum. This helps prevent students from getting so far behind that they cannot easily catch up.
BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bilingual Education The practice of teaching children in their native language as well as in English is referred to as bilingual education. Most commonly, students from Spanish-speaking homes are taught subjects such as math, science, and social studies in Spanish. They lear
Charter Schools Publicly funded schools that are exempt from many state laws and regulations for school districts. They are run by groups of teachers, parents, and/or foundations
CLEP College-Level Examination Program
COA Cost of Attendance
Community College A school that offers courses leading to an associate's degree
Cooperative Learning A teaching method in which students of differing abilities work together on an assignment. Each student has a specific responsibility within the group. Students complete assignments together and receive a common grade.
CPS Central Processing System
CSS College Scholarship Service
CWS College Work-Study
E.S.L English as a Second Language
ED US Department of Education
EFC Expected Family Contribution
EFT Electronic Funds Transfer
ELO Expanded Lending Option
English as a Second Language ESL, or English as a Second Language, is a program with specific techniques and curriculum to teach students who are English-language learners the language skills they need for success, including listening, speaking, reading and writing, study skills, voc
ESAR Electronic Student Aid Report
ETS Educational Testing Service
FAA Financial Aid Administrator
FAF Financial Aid Form
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid
FAO Financial Aid Office
FAT Financial Aid Transcript
FDSLP Federal Direct Student Loan Program
Federal Student Aid The largest form of student aid in the country, federal aid programs come in the form of government grants, loans, and work-study assistance and are available to students at eligible postsecondary institutions
FFELP Federal Family Education Loan Program
Financial Need This is the amount of a student's total cost of attendance that isn't covered by the expected family contribution or outside grants and scholarships. A student must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for need-based financial assistance programs.
FM Federal Methodology
FSEOG Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Full Time 12 or more credits is considered full time
FWS Federal Work-Study
GATE Gifted and Talented Education
Gifted and Talented Education A program that offers supplemental, differentiated, challenging curriculum and instruction for students identified as being intellectually gifted or talented.
GPA Grade Point Average
Grade Point Average GPA stands for grade point average. It is calculated by dividing the total number of points earned by the number of classes or credits attempted. Grades are typically assigned a point value—A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0—with the GPA score itself rangi
Grants Unlike loans, grants­­­­—which can come from the state or federal government, from the college itself, or from private sources—provide money for college that doesn't have to be paid back. We'll take this opportunity here to remind you again to fill out th
GSL Guaranteed Student Loan
Head Start early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.
HEAL Health Education Assistance Loan
HPSL Health Profession Student Loan
Honors Classes
Honors courses generally refer to exclusive, higher-level classes that proceed at a faster pace and cover more material than regular classes. No college credit received.
IEP Individual Education Program
IM Institutional Methodology
Individual Education Program a customized plan for how a school will provide a quality education the student with an identified special need. The IEP is determined by an IEP committee, which includes the childâthe student with an identified special need. The IEP is determined by an I
IRA Individual Retirement Account
IRS Internal Revenue Service
ISIR Institutional Student Information Report
KTEC  Kootenai Technical Education Campus
Loans If scholarships and grants don't cover the entire cost of your tuition, you may have to take out a student loan to make up the difference. Federal student loans don't have to be paid while you're in college, and there are also a variety of loan forgivenes
Looping When a teacher moves up to the next grade along with her students, often on a two-year cycle although some classes loop for three consecutive years. This is usually done on a case-by-case basis, when a teacher and principal agree that the classroom chemis
Magnet School An alternative public school that often focuses on a particular area of study, such as performing arts or science and technology, in addition to the core curriculum
Mastery Advancement Program - Advanced Learning Program
MDE Multiple Data Entry
Middle School Schools for students in the early adolescent years, generally grade 6th through grade 8.
MOOC Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
NHSC National Health Corps Scholarship
NMSQT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
NSL Nursing Student Loan
PAR Peer Assistance and Review Program
Parental Contribution Amount that a student's parents are expected to pay directly to a college. This amount is calculated using the information in the FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and other required financial forms.
PC Parent Contribution
PCL Primary Care Loan
Peer Assistance and Review Program A program that encourages designated consulting teachers to assist other teachers who need help in developing their subject matter knowledge, teaching strategies, or both. They also help teachers to meet the standards for proficient teaching.
PLUS Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students
Portfolio A collection of various samples of a student's work throughout the school year that can include writing samples, examples of math problems, and results of science experiments.
Pre-K a class or program that is for children who are usually three or four years old prior to kindergarten.
PSAT The pre-SAT exam, known asPSAT, is taken by high school sophomores and juniors, and sometimes as early as 8th or 9th grade, to get an idea of how they will perform on the real thing. It also gives students a practice run on the SAT college admisssions exam.
Professional-Technical Education Center
RA Research Assistantship
Room and Board Everyone needs to sleep and eat. If you plan to do it on campus, those fees are part of your total cost of attendance
ROTC Reserve Officer Training Corps
Rubric A guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests
Running Start A college preparation option that permits students in grades 11-12 to take courses on local community and technical college campuses and earn credit toward both high school graduation and a college degree.
SAFRA Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act
SAP Satisfactory Academic Progress
SAR Student Aid Report
SAT The SAT is the most well-known of the standardized tests.This college admissions exam is widely used to determine admission and placement at institutions ranging from community colleges to elite universities.
SAY Scheduled Academic Year
SC Student Contribution
Scholarship There really isn't much difference between a scholarship and a grant, though the general consensus is that scholarships are primarily awarded for academic merit (good grades) or for something you have accomplished (volunteer work or a specific project); h
SEOG Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
SLMA Student Loan Marketing Association
SLP Student Learning Plan
SLS Supplemental Loan for Students
SSIG State Student Incentive Grants
Student Learning Plan (SLP) A formal education document to provide regular communication to parents about the student's continued academic progress and to assure that students are on track for high school graduation.
Student Savings Contribution The amount a college expects a student to contribute to their college costs from their savings and investments. Student savings and investments must be reported on the FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and other financial documents that the student submit
TA Teaching Assistantship
TOEFL Test Of English As A Foreign Language
Tracking A common instructional practice of organizing student in groups based on their academic skills. Tracking allows a teacher to provide the same level of instruction to the entire group.
Tuition College tuition is the "sticker price" of your education, and does not include room and board, textbooks, or other fees. Colleges often calculate tuition based on the cost of one credit, or "unit."
Tuition Reimbursement Tuition reimbursement, also sometimes called "tuition assistance," is increasing in popularity. Some employers will refund you the cost of your tuition if you're studying a work-related area. Tuition reimbursement can cover as little as one or two courses
USED US Department of Education
VA Veterans Administration
Whole Language Approach A teaching method that emphasizes reading for meaning in context
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education:
Work Study/Work Award The Federal Work Study program provides funds to eligible students (see FAFSA above) for part-time employment to help finance the costs of post-secondary education. In most cases, the school or employer has to pay up to 50 percent of the student's wages,
WUE (woo-wee)
 Western Undergraduate Exchange: