Undergraduate degree - The next level of education after high school = "college".

Graduate degree - The next level of education after college = Master's degree, PhD, etc.

The Common Application - Accepted by more than 500 colleges, this is the main application used for online filing.

"Reach" school - A college where you have less than a 50% chance of being admitted, based on admission statistics.

"Comfortable" or "Target" school - A college where your qualifications match the average admitted student's profile.

"Safety" school - A college where you have a better than 50% chance of being admitted, based on admission statistics.

"Middle 50th percentile" - The reported ranges of test scores and grade point averages (GPA) for the middle 50th percentile of the applicant pool, which infers that 25% of the pool was above and 25% was below those ranges.

Early Action deadline (EA) - Non-binding: if a student is admitted EA, they can still apply to other colleges.

Early Decision deadline (ED) - Binding: if a student is admitted ED, they must attend that college.

Regular Decision deadline - Offered by all colleges: students can apply to as many schools as they choose.

Rolling Admission - Does not have a specific deadline. It's like a glass of water - if you apply early during the period when application are being accepted, the "glass" is less full and you have a better chance for admission.

Fee waiver - Available to students for whom paying test registration and/or college application fees will be a financial hardship.

Waitlisted/Deferred  - When your application is initially neither admitted or denied. This is usually an indication that the Admissions Committee feels they need additional information in order to make a fully informed decision on the application within the context of their whole applicant pool and will re-review your application at a later date to make a final decision.

SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test

ACT - American College Testing

PSAT/NMSQT - Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

AP - Advanced Placement Test

CLEP - College Level Examination Program

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE - A secondary financial aid form required by some colleges.