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College Admissions Glossary: J-O

College Admissions Glossary: J-O

Our admissions glossary is here to make your application and enrollment as easy as possible. Be sure to review our complete glossary as you continue your college journey!

Junior CollegeSee Community College.

LAC: Acronym for Liberal Arts College.

Legacy Admissions: Legacy admissions refers to a preference by a college for admitting students who are related to alumni of the college. For example, a student whose parents and grandparents are alumni of the college may have greater odds of admission than a student who is not a legacy.

Leveraging: Leveraging is when a college or university uses financial aid awards to achieve enrollment and financial goals. For example, a college may use financial aid policies to enroll low-income students, minority students, student athletes, academically talented students and wealthy students.

Liberal Arts: Liberal arts are fields of study in the humanities, arts and sciences, as opposed to vocational, technical and professional fields. Liberal arts colleges may emphasize high-quality teaching, especially on an undergraduate level. 

Major: An academic major is a field of study in which a college student chooses to specialize.

Match School: A match school is a college that is a good fit for a student and likely to admit them due to their grades and extracurriculars. Typically, test scores will fall within the middle half of students enrolled at the college.

Matriculate: Matriculation refers to the process of enrollment at a college or university.

Midterm Exam: A midterm exam is a test that takes place in the middle of the semester or academic term.

Minor: A minor is a secondary subject studied by a college student. The requirements for a minor are less restrictive than the requirements for a major.

National Candidates Reply Date: The National Candidates Reply Date, May 1, is the day by which many colleges and universities require admitted students to commit to attending. Also known as Decision Day.

National University: National universities are highly selective institutions that recruit students nationally, as opposed to regionally. National universities include many of the top research universities and often enroll graduate students in addition to undergraduate students. 

Need-Aware Admissions: Need-aware admissions, also known as need-sensitive admissions, is an admissions policy that allows a college or university to consider an applicant's financial background when deciding whether to accept the student.

Need-Based Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid is financial aid awarded primarily based on the student’s demonstrated financial need. This includes the federal Pell Grant, federal work-study and subsidized loans.

Merit-Based Financial Aid: Merit-based financial aid is awarded based on the academic, artistic or athletic talent of a student.

Need-Blind Admissions: Need-blind admissions is an admissions policy that does not allow a college or university to consider an applicant’s financial background when deciding whether to accept the student.

Net Price: The net price is the difference between the cost of attendance and gift aid, such as grants and scholarships. It is the amount of money needed for college, using savings, income and loans.

Net Price Calculator: Since October 29, 2011, all U.S. colleges and universities are required to provide a net price calculator on their websites. The net price calculator provides families with an estimate of the net price for their student, based on the answers to a series of questions.

Open Admission: Open admission is a non-competitive college admissions process, where most students that apply for admission are accepted.

Orientation: Orientation is the start of the academic year when new students are welcomed to a college and become acquainted with the academic programs, events and campus life.

Out-of-State Student: An out-of-state student is not from the state in which the college is located, and will most likely pay more tuition.

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