Planning for College

Vocabulary

The admissions and financial aid processes have their own vocabulary, so you may run across these words.

College
This can mean any school that offers degrees, or it can be a large subdivision of a university, like the College of Business or the College of Arts and Sciences. We generally use college to mean any education you get after high school, whether it's a trade school, a community college, a small four-year school or a large university.
Higher education
Any education after high school, from a diploma from a hair-styling school to a degree from medical school.
Institution
You'll often see this used as a catch-all for a school that offers a higher education.
Matriculation
Another word for enrollment, which is what we use.
Postbaccalaureate
After a bachelor's degree.
Postsecondary
Any education after high school.
Proprietary school
What most people call a trade school.
Technical school
A school that provides training in technical fields, so it's a little like a proprietary school and a little like a community college.
University
A school that offers degrees beyond a bachelor's, such as a master's or a doctorate.