AP (Advanced Placement)
AP courses are offered throughout high school which prepare students for college-level work, AND give students who earn qualifying scores on the AP Exam to gain college credit and advanced placement in participating 4-year universities. You MUST take the AP Exam for a chance at college credit!
There is a fee. For more information about AP opportunities in your school, talk to your school counselor
College Entrance and Placement Exams
Exams such as Accuplacer, THEA, Compass are college placement exams which measure your ability to do college-level work and then use the information to place you in classes appropriate for your learning level. This test determines if you must take remedial classes before taking regular college courses.
Exams such as the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests measure your overall educational development and ability to complete college-level work. Scores are used to determine college entrance into certain colleges. Typically, the more prestigious/competitive the school (ex. Harvard, Stanford, other Ivy League universities) the higher the score needed to be considered for acceptance
Early Decision/ Early Action
Early decision plans are binding which means you agree to attend the college if you are accepted and receive a good financial aid package. You can only apply to one (1) college through early decision and still submit other applications through regular admission, but if you are accepted through early decision, you MUST withdraw all other applications.
Early action plans are NOT binding which means you can apply early action to MORE THAN ONE college and still submit application to other colleges. If you are accepted early action you can commit to the school OR wait until spring when other acceptances arrive to make your final decision
Expected Family Contribution - EFC
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Financial aid Package/Award
GPA stands for Grade Point Average, and is an average of the grade points you earn in all of the classes that you will take in high school. (For example, if you earned a total of 9 grade points in 3 classes, your GPA would be 3.0) Good grades = higher GPA.
Why should I care about my GPA? Colleges are looking for high school students with high GPAs. In order to earn a high GPA, you must start off with strong grades your Freshmen year. Failing a class seriously affects your GPA – talk to your teacher to see what you can do to pass the class if you are failing
High School Credits
Letters of Recommendation
SAT Reasoning Test
SAT Subject Tests
Student Aid Report – SAR
TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid)
THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment)
Types of Colleges
Community Colleges are typically smaller colleges where many student begin their pursuit of higher education before transferring to a four- year university. Certificate programs are offered which last between 6 weeks to 1 year. Associate’s degrees can be earned in 1 to 2 years.
Public and Private Universities are four- year universities where students are able to earn their Bachelor’s degrees and may go on to pursue a Master’s degree or doctorate degree
Types of Financial Aid
1- Grants – awards that do not require repayment
2- Scholarships – awards that do not require repayment
3- Loans – borrowed from lending institution
4-Work study – on campus or off campus work to help earn money for student’s education