Questions about College
-- Acronyms & Abbreviations
ACT - The name of a standardized college entrance
exam and the name of the company that administers it.
ARTSYS - The name of the articulation system
for transfer of credit in Maryland - you can use the search
www.artweb.usm.edu, the ARTSYS site, to find out what
courses from MD community colleges will transfer to MD 4-year
CSS/PROFILE or "CSS/Financial Aid Profile" CSS,
or College Scholarship Service, is part of the College
Board, a nonprofit organization that also administers the SAT.
CSS/Financial Aid Profile is a financial aid application service
used by some colleges and private scholarship funds.
EFC - Expected Family Contribution (based on FAFSA
data) - the amount of money families are expected to contribute
toward the student's college bills.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a
free application (online or paper) that parents must submit to
the U.S. Department of Education if their son or daughter is to
receive college financial assistance from PELL Grant awards,
Maryland State financial assistance, student loans, and many
GED - General Educational Development - a credential
earned by passing a multi-part examination. This is one of
three ways in Maryland to demonstrate the completion of a high
school educational level. (A high school diploma and a
Maryland Adult External Diploma are the other two).
GPA - Grade Point Average - College grades are
usually calculated on a scale of 0-4, with 0 = failing (E or F),
1 = D, 2 = C, 3 = B, 4 = A. Plus and minus grades add or
subtract a B- is a 2.7. High school grades are either
calculated this way or can be converted to this scale.
MHEC - Maryland Higher Education Commission - a State
agency that coordinates postsecondary education (colleges,
private career schools, etc.) and administers State financial
assistance to students in colleges and career schools.
SAR - Student Aid Report - summarizes information
from the FAFSA and tells families what their EFC is (see above).
SAT - The name of a standardized college entrance
exam. There are also SAT Subject Tests.