College Application Vocabulary

College applications can be confusing if you don't know the vocabulary.  We are here to help!

Common Application: An undergraduate admission application used by multiple universities. If you plan to apply to multiple universities, use the common app, it will save you time.

College Opportunity Fund (COF)The College Opportunity Fund (COF), created by the Colorado Legislature, provides a stipend to eligible undergraduate students. The stipend pays a portion of your total in-state tuition when you attend a participating college.  All students planning to attend college in Colorado should apply.

Colorado State SAT vs. National SAT

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions that all Colorado juniors take in the spring.  Students do not need to register or pay for this exam, and it is administered at CVHS during the school day (more information will be coming soon).

There are also National Test Dates for all students in the nation to use for college admissions.  Students must register and pay for these exams.  There are many testing centers available, including Castle View High School for the October 5th, December 7th, and June 7th SAT exams.

All DCSD students need to provide documentation of meeting or exceeding the required level of readiness in both Mathematics and Reading, Writing, and Communicating as a graduation requirement.  Students must receive a 470+ in Reading, Writing, and Communication, and a 500+ in Mathematics on the SAT to pass this requirement.

Deferred Enrollment: Put off to a later time; postpone enrollment. This is most commonly used for a mission trip or gap year experience.  This is an opportunity for students who have been admitted to delay or defer enrollment for a year or a semester.

College-initiated deferral refers to a college's use of deferring students who applied in early action or early decision rounds to the regular decision applicant pool.  They may require more information sent before they can accept or deny enrollment.

Early Action: Deadline is typically November 1st or November 15th.  Early Action is when a prospective student applies for admission by early deadline (before the regular admission deadline) and receives notice of acceptance, denial, or deferment with no obligation to the university to enroll, if accepted for admission.

Early Decision: Deadline typically November 1st.  Through this program offered by many post-secondary schools, students willing to commit to a school, if accepted, submit their application by a date well before the general admission deadline.  If accepted, the student must enroll in the school, so students should only apply early decision to their first choice school.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The EFC is the amount of money you and your family could be expected to pay for one year of college costs, based on the data gathered from FAFSA and determined by a federal formula applied to the data.  This figure often differs from the actual amount you will be required to pay.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The most vital step in applying for federal grants, work-study, and loans for colleges.  FAFSA Applications are based off of tax information and opens December 1st every year.  Why Should You File FAFSA As Early As Possible

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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.  Common App requires students to sign a FERPA release to grant high schools permission to send records.  Students also need to waive or not waive their right to review recommendations and other forms.  Waiving rights lets colleges know that the student doesn't plan to read his/her recommendations.  This helps reassure colleges that the letters are candid and truthful.  Some recommenders may only write a letter if FERPA rights have been waived.

Grants:  Grants, like loans and most scholarships, are based on financial need.  A grant may be provided by federal or state governments, an institution, a foundation, or some other nonprofit funding source and does not have to be repaid.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations in the United States.

Regular Decision: Deadline is usually between January 1st and February 1st.   

Rolling Admissions: No specific deadline; admissions decisions are made as applications are received.  This is a practice used by some institutions to review and complete applications as they arrive, rather than according to a set deadline.

Work Study Programs: Most colleges offer work-study programs.  They allow students to work part time during the school year as part of their financial aid package.  The jobs are usually on campus and the money earned is used to pay for tuition or other college charges.