Preparing for College

Common Acronyms and Abbreviations Used in the College Confidential Forums

The College Confidential discussion forums use many acronyms and abbreviations. What do they all mean?

Here is a list of the most widely used phrases that have been aggregated by our users. If you have something that needs to be added that is college related, please add it here.


*pithy remark*narrative voice, usually sarcastic
^_^Smiley Face
^^^Refer to post above
10 charUsed to fill out minimum character requirement to post
AAAffirmative Action
ABETAccreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.
ABLEAchieving a Better Life Experience
Academic Index

Ivy League colleges use a tool called the Academic Index to summarize the academic performance of applicants. Originally developed as a means of establishing common standards for student-athlete applicants, the Academic Index (AI) has become a sort of shorthand for ranking students. Other colleges, elite and otherwise, may also use variants of the Academic in their admission process.

ACMAssociated Colleges of the Midwest
ACTA national college admissions examination
ADCOMAdmissions Committee
AIAdmissions Index
AIArtifical Intelligence
AICEAdvance International Certificate of Education
AIMEAmerican Invitational Mathematics Examination
AKAAlso know as
AMCAmerican Mathematics Competitions
APRAnnual percentage rate
APUSHAdvanced Placement United States History
ARAcademic Renewal
ARWUAcademic Ranking of World Universities
AWSAmherst/Williams/Swarthmore
BFboyfriend
BGOBlue and Gold Officer (USNA Admissions Representative)
BILBrother in Law
BMEBiomedical Engineering
BNPBrand Name Paralysis
BRBBe Right Back
BTWBy the way
BTWBetween
BUMPBring Up My Post
Bump # XXRead post # XX
BWRKBright Well-Rounded Kid
CASCollege of Arts and Sciences
CBBColby, Bates, Bowdoin
CCCollege Confidential
CCCommunity College
CCCCalifornia Community College
CDSCommon Data Set
CMUCarnegie Mellon U
COACost of Attendenance
CROPCarleton, Reed, Oberlin, Pomona (top LACs, outside of the northeast)
CSS ProfileForm needed to apply for aid at some colleges (often in addition to FAFSA)
CSUCalifornia State University system
CTCLColleges That Change Lives
CUNYCity University of New York System
DDaughter
D1Daughter #1, Daughter #2, etc.
D12Daughter graduated in 2012
dartDartmouth
DDDear, Darling or Darn Daughter
DEDual enrollment
DGDDear, Darling or Darn Grandaughter
DGSDear, Darling or Darn Grandson
DHDear, Darling or Darn Husband
DIDrill Instructor
DNDDo not disturb
DODMERBDepartment of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (the physical exam all service academy and ROTC scholarship applicants need to take)
DPDear Parents
DSDear, Darling or Darn Son
DWDear, Darling or Darn Wife
EAEarly Action (non-binding)
ECExtra Credit
ECsExtra Curriculars
EDEary decision (binding)
ED1Deadlines for schools; usually around Nov 1
ED2Deadlines for schools; usually around January
EFCEstimated Family Contribution
ELCEligibility in the Local Context: Related to University of California admissions, where the top 4% of the graduating class at your local California high school receive special undergraduate admissions consideration
ETAEdited to add
FAFinancial Aid
FAFSAFree Application for Federal Student Aid
FAOFinancial Aid Office or Officer
FMFederal Methodology
FSFAAForeign Financial Aid Application
FTWFor the win
FUFurman University
FWIWFor What It's Worth
FYSAFor Your Situational Awareness
GCGuidance Counselor
GDGranddaughter
GFGirlfriend
GSGrandson
GTOGuaranteed Transfer Option
GtownGeorgetown
HAmLitHonors American Lit
HBCUHistorically Black Colleges and University
HEDSHigher Education Data Sharing Consortium
HMFRHuge Mother F#*!&ing Reach
HookSomething that can move an app up a notch or two; hooks vary at different schools
HPMEHonors Program in Medical Education
HYPHarvard/Yale/Princeton
HYPDHarvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth
HYPSHarvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford
HYPSMHarvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/MIT
HYPSMCHarvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/MIT/Caltech-Columbia-Cornell
IANAAOI am not an admissions officer
IBInternational Baccalaureate
IDInterim decision (term used by some schools instead of Early Action)
IDKI don't know
IGETCIntersegmental General Education Transfer Credit: the set of courses and agreements that the Ucs and select CCCs have which means that if you complete the prescried set of courses, you will have satisfied that UC's general education reaquirements.
IIRCIf I recall correctly
IMInstitutional Methododology (varies with each school using IM)
IMHOIn My Humble Opinion
ImingInstant Messaging
IMNSHOIn My Not So Humble Opinion
IMOIn My Opinion
IRLIn Real Life
ISFAAInternational Student Financial Aid Application
IUPUIIndiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis
IWSFTI was surprised to find that
JKJust Kidding
KUKansas University
KUKentucky University
KWIMKnow what I mean
LACLiberal Arts College
little iviesTop Liberal Arts Colleges
little iviesWilliams, Amherst, Trinity, Wesleyan, Hamilton, Hobart, Union, Colgate
Little ThreeAmherst, Wesleyan, Williams
LOCILetter of continued interest
LOLLaugh Out Loud
MEHAPHonors American Lit
Merit Scholarships
ModsForum Moderators
MOOCMassive open online course
NCAANational Collegiate Athletic Association
NCPNon-custodial parent
NENew England
NESCACNew England Small College Athletic Conference
NEUNortheastern University
NHSNational Honors Society
NMFNational Meri Finalist
NMSFNational Merit Semifinalist
NOVANorthern Virginia
NPCNet price calculator
NRCNational Research Council
NSENational Student Exchange
NTTAWWTNot that there's anything wrong with that
NUNorthwestern University
NVMNevermind
NYUNew York U
OEOverseas experience
OMGOh my God or Gosh
OOSOut of state
OPOriginal Post(er)
OSUOhio State University
OTOff Topic
OTOHOn the other hand
OUOhio University
OUOklahoma State and Oklahoma University
p-ton or ptonPrinceton
PAPeer Assessment
PENNUniversity of Pennsylvania or Penn State
PGPostgraduate year
PLMEProgram in Liberal Medical Education (Brown's special medical program)
PLOSParent Looking Over Shoulder
PLTWProject Lead The Way
PMPersonal Messages
PSUPenn State
PWNSomeone who dominates
R+BRoom and Board
RARolling Admissions
RARRegional Admissions Representive
RDRegular Decision
RITRochester Institute of Technology (NY)
ROFLRolling on the floor
ROFLMAOPMPRolling on the floor laughing my ass off peeing my pants
ROFLOLRolling on the floor/laughing out loud
ROIReturn on Investment
RPIRensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
RSIResearch Science Institute at MIT
SSon
S1Son # 1, Son #2, etc.
S12Son graduated in 2012
SASituational Awareness
SATA national college admissions examination.
SCEASingle Choice Early Action (non-binding but can apply to only one early school)
SDSUSan Diego State University
SEASScience, Engineering and Applied Sciences aka FU Foundation
SECSouth East (athletic) Conference
SESSocio-Economic Status
SILSister in Law
SIRStatement of Intent to register
SMHShaking my head
SMUSouthern Methodist U
SNScreen Name
SOSignificant Other
StatsA student's GPA, test scores, curriculum and extracurriculars
STEMScience, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
SUSyracuse University
SUSeattle U
SUNYState University of New York System
SWAPSwarthmore, Williams, Amherst & Pomona (Top LACs)
T1Twin 1, Twin 2
TAPTransfer Agreement: The form/agreement you sign that allows you automatic acceptance from CCC to UC provided you finish a certain set of classes with a certain level of achievement.
TASPTelluride Association Summer Program (6 week summer program for juniors)
TASSTelluride Association Summer Program (6 week summer program for sophomores)
TCETotal College Experience
THETimes Higher Education
The IviesEight members of the Ivy League: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale
The Public Ivys

University of California - at Berkeley, at Davis, at Irvine, at Los Angeles, at Riverside, at San Diego, at Santa Barbara, at Santa Cruz; Miami University of Ohio; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Texas at Austin; University of Vermont at Burlington; University of Virginia at Charlottesville; William and Mary College of Virginia

The Seven SistersBarnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley
TIAThanks in advance
TipSomething that can tip a candidates app one way or another
TJHSSTThomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
TOThematic Option at Univ of Southern California
TOEFLTest of English as a foreign language
TOKTheory of Knowledge IB course
TTFMToo tough for me
TTFNTaTa for Now
UAAUniversity Athletic Association
UCUniversity of California Schools
UCUniversity of Chicago
UCBUniversity of California, Berkeley
UCBCal
UCDUniversity of California, Davis
UCIUniversity of California, Irvine
UCLAUniversity of California, Los Angeles
UCMUniversity of California, Merced
UCRUniversity of California, Riverside
UCSBUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
UCSCUniversity of California, Santa Cruz
UCSDUniversity of California, San Diego
UCSFUniversity of California, San Francisco (has no undergrad programs)
UDubUniversity of Washington
UIUCUniversity of Illinois
UKUniversity of Kentucky
UMUniversity of Maryland
UMUniversity of Michigan
UMUniversity of Miami
UMUniversity of Minnesota
UMUniversity of Montana
UMUniversity of Memphis
UMUniversity of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
UmassUniversity of Massachusetts
UMDUniversity of Maryland
UMSLUniversity of Missouri St. Louis
UNCUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
UofCUniversity of Chicago
UPENNUniversity of Pennsylvania
URMUnder Represented Minority
USABOUnited States of America Biology Olympiad
USAFAUnited States Air Force academy
USAMOUnited States of America Mathematics Olympiad
USCUniversity of Southern California
USCUniversity of South Carolina
USCGAUnited States Coast Guard Academy
USDUniversity of San Diego
USDUniversity of South Dakota
USHAPAdvanced Placement United States History
USMAUnited States Military Academy
USMMAUnited States Merchant Marine Academy
USNAUnited States Naval Academy
USNWRUS News World Report
UWUniversity of Washington
VCVassar
W+JWashington and Jefferson
W+LWashing and Lee
WASPWilliams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Pomona
WASPWhite Anglo Saxon Protestant
WLWait List
WOWWalks on water
WPIWorcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)
WUEWestern Undergraduate Exchange
WUSTLWashington U - St. Louis
Yale-NUSResidential LAC in Singapore: collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore
YMMVYour mileage may vary