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    The University of Wyoming offers a world-class education in the small community of Laramie, Wyoming. Founded in 1886, the university each year welcomes more than 14,000 students from all 50 states and 90 countries. As a land-grant university, we are dedicated to serving the state of Wyoming and producing graduates who go on to be global leaders. Here you can study everything from agronomy to zoology, criminal justice to theatre and dance.

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    College Terminology 101

    December 12, 2017

    What do all of those words mean? Sometimes it can get overwhelming applying to colleges or universities, because academic terminology can seem like another language.

    No need to worry, because we’re here to explain what all those different words mean. Use this glossary of common academic terms to help get you through the college research and application process!



    • Applicant: You have submitted an application to the university, but have not yet been admitted.
    • Admitted: Your application has been accepted, and they want you to be a part of their school!
    • Confirmed: You have told the university that they are your top choice of schools and you intend to go there. There is often a confirmation deposit fee at this stage.
    • Enrolled: You have selected and registered for your classes.
    • Selective vs. Non-Selective: This is how a school admit their students. Selective institutions look at more criteria and may want higher GPA or test scores in order to accept students.
    • Acceptance Rate: The percentage of applicants that make it to the ‘Admitted’ stage. Selective institutions will have a lower acceptance rate.
    • Early Decision Admission: At an early decision school, you have to confirm earlier in the year.
    • Rolling Admission: At a rolling admission school, applications are accepted throughout the year and students do not have to make decisions based on deadlines.
    • Accreditation/Rankings: This tells you the quality of the academic program you are looking at. When looking at schools, you want to look for programs that are accredited or have high rankings, because this will help you get better jobs after graduation.
    • Retention: This is an indicator about how successful your time will be at a university. Retention is how likely you are to make it to your second year on campus, meaning you are doing well in classes and fitting into the culture on campus.
    • Persistence: Another indicator about your success at a university is persistence. This is how likely you are to make it from your second year all the way to graduation.
    • Career Outcome Rate: This rate measures how many students have jobs after graduation. Rates can vary across different programs, so it is important to ask the career outcome rate for the program of your interest.
    • Financial Aid: Financial Aid is any type of funding that will help you pay for college.
    • Loan: Money you have to pay back after you graduate.
    • Grant: Money you do not have to pay back after you graduate.
    • Scholarship: Money that is awarded based on academic success, athletic ability, leadership involvement, financial need, etc.
    • FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that must be filled out in order to be eligible for grants or loans from the federal government.


    Still curious what a word might mean that's not on this list? Connect with us to get your questions answered!

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