College Glossary: S

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Scholarship – a form of college financial aid that does not require repayment and is often made to students who show potential for distinction in their field of study. Some scholarships are awarded by colleges, but many others are awarded by individual organizations, all with various criteria and application deadlines. It is your job to find and apply for scholarships.

SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test) – one of two widely accepted college entrance exams (the other is the ACT), the SAT is a test of developed language skills and mathematical reasoning abilities, designed to assess general thinking and problem-solving abilities. (This test was formerly called SAT I.)

SAT Subject Tests – standardized tests given in five specific subjects (English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, and History/Social Studies) and designed to measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge. These tests are used by colleges not only to help with admission decisions, but also to assist in course placement and exemption of enrolled first-year students. There tests were formerly called the SAT II.

Selective Admissions – admissions procedure used by most colleges and universities, in which additional standards and criteria are required for acceptance into college, including such items as college entrance exam scores, class rank, GPA, written essay(s), recommendation letters, and more.

SOAR – Students Occupationally and Academically Ready is the Pennsylvania career and technical programs of study initiative that includes a statewide articulation agreement partnership between secondary schools and postsecondary institutions. Often, full completion of SOAR requirements translates to a minimum of 9 credits at a postsecondary, unchallenged.

Student Loans – the Federal government offers assistance to college students with the Stafford Loan, a popular, low-cost loan, to help you pay for school. After completing your FAFSA, your financial aid award letter from your college will show your eligibility for either a subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Only U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens enrolled at least half-time are eligible. Other student loan options are available, including student loans for parents of college students.