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College Planning Acronym Directory

College Planning Acronym Directory

AA Associate of Arts
AFA Associate of Fine Arts
AS Associate of Science
AAS Associate of Applied Science
AGE Associate in General Education

The AA, AFA, AS, AAS, and AGE are two-year degrees granted by a community or
two-year college. Contact the North Carolina Community College System for more
information about the degrees and the colleges at .

ACT (formerly known as) American College Testing
The ACT is a college entrance test covering English, math, reading and science
reasoning. If students take this exam in place of an SAT, students must take optional
writing section of this test to be eligible for admission at any of the 16 campuses of the
University of North Carolina. For more information please visit the ACT website at .

AP Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement courses are challenging high school courses created by College
Board. If students receive high enough scores on the optional Advanced Placement Tests,
they may receive advanced placement and/or credit for college courses. For more
information visit

ASVAB Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
Students may take this test in the junior or senior year to identify their areas of strength
and weaknesses in career fields. For more information visit .

BA/BS Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree, also called a baccalaureate or undergraduate degree, is awarded
when a student completes the requirements of an undergraduate program at a four-year
university. The bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS) are the most common.

PSAT/ Preliminary SAT/
NMSQT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

The PSAT/NMSQT measures verbal reasoning as well as critical reading, writing, and mathematical skills and allows students to familiarize themselves with the types of questions found on the SAT (see below). Students take this test in their sophomore and/or junior years. Scores are not sent to colleges unless a student opts to send them. Students taking the PSAT in their junior year will automatically compete for National Merit Scholarships. For more information visit .

SAP Satisfactory Academic Progress
A student must be making satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving federal aid. Each college or university develops its own satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid eligibility.

SAR Student Aid Report
The SAR is the official summary of the FAFSA (see above) information and provides proof that the FAFSA has been received. It indicates Federal Pell Grant eligibility and EFC (see above). For more information visit

The SAT Reasoning Test measures critical thinking skills that are considered to be vital to academic success in college and beyond. Often taken by high school juniors and seniors as a precursor to college/university admission, the SAT assesses a student’s critical reading, mathematical, and writing skills. Students often take the test more than once in the hope of achieving a higher score. All scores are reported to colleges students designate when applying for admission. Some colleges and universities also require students to take the SAT Subject Tests which measure knowledge in specific subject areas. For more information visit

TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language
The TOEFL is an English proficiency test often required for international students whose first language is not English. Required scores vary by college. For more information visit .

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