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College Glossary: P

All College Glossary Pages:

PHEAA – The Pennsylvania Higher Educational Assistance Agency is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs.

PLAN – A pre-ACT test, PLAN® is a predictor of success on the ACT Assessment®. Students take PLAN® in the tenth grade. Like the ACT Assessment®, PLAN® is curriculum-based, and tests what you know and are able to do based on what you have been studying in the classroom. The tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning.

Postsecondary Education – meaning “after high school” and referring to programs for high school graduates, including programs at two and four-year colleges, and vocational and technical schools.

Private Colleges – postsecondary schools that rely mainly on tuition, fees and private sources of funding. Private donations can sometimes provide generous financial aid packages for students.

PSAT/NMSQT – the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a practice test that helps students prepare for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). The PSAT is usually administered to tenth or eleventh grade students. Students who score well and meet other criteria may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Public Colleges – postsecondary schools that are funded by local and state governments and usually offer lower tuition rates than private colleges, especially for students who are residents of the state where a college is located.