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 char Used to fill out minimum character requirement to post
AA Affirmative Action
ABET Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.
ABLE Achieving 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.
ACM Associated Colleges of the Midwest
ACT A national college admissions examination
ADCOM Admissions Committee
AI Admissions Index
AI Artifical Intelligence
AICE Advance International Certificate of Education
AIME American Invitational Mathematics Examination
AKA Also know as
AMC American Mathematics Competitions
APR Annual percentage rate
APUSH Advanced Placement United States History
AR Academic Renewal
ARWU Academic Ranking of World Universities
AWS Amherst/Williams/Swarthmore
BF boyfriend
BGO Blue and Gold Officer (USNA Admissions Representative)
BIL Brother in Law
BME Biomedical Engineering
BNP Brand Name Paralysis
BRB Be Right Back
BTW By the way
BTW Between
BUMP Bring Up My Post
Bump # XX Read post # XX
BWRK Bright Well-Rounded Kid
CAS College of Arts and Sciences
CBB Colby, Bates, Bowdoin
CC College Confidential
CC Community College
CCC California Community College
CDS Common Data Set
CMU Carnegie Mellon U
COA Cost of Attendenance
CROP Carleton, Reed, Oberlin, Pomona (top LACs, outside of the northeast)
CSS Profile Form needed to apply for aid at some colleges (often in addition to FAFSA)
CSU California State University system
CTCL Colleges That Change Lives
CUNY City University of New York System
D Daughter
D1 Daughter #1, Daughter #2, etc.
D12 Daughter graduated in 2012
dart Dartmouth
DD Dear, Darling or Darn Daughter
DE Dual enrollment
DGD Dear, Darling or Darn Grandaughter
DGS Dear, Darling or Darn Grandson
DH Dear, Darling or Darn Husband
DI Drill Instructor
DND Do not disturb
DODMERB Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (the physical exam all service academy and ROTC scholarship applicants need to take)
DP Dear Parents
DS Dear, Darling or Darn Son
DW Dear, Darling or Darn Wife
EA Early Action (non-binding)
EC Extra Credit
ECs Extra Curriculars
ED Eary decision (binding)
ED1 Deadlines for schools; usually around Nov 1
ED2 Deadlines for schools; usually around January
EFC Estimated Family Contribution
ELC Eligibility 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
ETA Edited to add
FA Financial Aid
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid
FAO Financial Aid Office or Officer
FM Federal Methodology
FSFAA Foreign Financial Aid Application
FTW For the win
FU Furman University
FWIW For What It’s Worth
FYSA For Your Situational Awareness
GC Guidance Counselor
GD Granddaughter
GF Girlfriend
GS Grandson
GTO Guaranteed Transfer Option
Gtown Georgetown
HAmLit Honors American Lit
HBCU Historically Black Colleges and University
HEDS Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium
HMFR Huge Mother F#*!&ing Reach
Hook Something that can move an app up a notch or two; hooks vary at different schools
HPME Honors Program in Medical Education
HYP Harvard/Yale/Princeton
HYPD Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth
HYPS Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford
HYPSM Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/MIT
HYPSMC Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/MIT/Caltech-Columbia-Cornell
IANAAO I am not an admissions officer
IB International Baccalaureate
ID Interim decision (term used by some schools instead of Early Action)
IDK I don’t know
IGETC Intersegmental 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.
IIRC If I recall correctly
IM Institutional Methododology (varies with each school using IM)
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
Iming Instant Messaging
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO In My Opinion
IRL In Real Life
ISFAA International Student Financial Aid Application
IUPUI Indiana University-Purdue University – Indianapolis
IWSFT I was surprised to find that
JK Just Kidding
KU Kansas University
KU Kentucky University
KWIM Know what I mean
LAC Liberal Arts College
little ivies Top Liberal Arts Colleges
little ivies Williams, Amherst, Trinity, Wesleyan, Hamilton, Hobart, Union, Colgate
Little Three Amherst, Wesleyan, Williams
LOCI Letter of continued interest
LOL Laugh Out Loud
MEHAP Honors American Lit
Merit Scholarships
Mods Forum Moderators
MOOC Massive open online course
NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association
NCP Non-custodial parent
NE New England
NESCAC New England Small College Athletic Conference
NEU Northeastern University
NHS National Honors Society
NMF National Meri Finalist
NMSF National Merit Semifinalist
NOVA Northern Virginia
NPC Net price calculator
NRC National Research Council
NSE National Student Exchange
NTTAWWT Not that there’s anything wrong with that
NU Northwestern University
NVM Nevermind
NYU New York U
OE Overseas experience
OMG Oh my God or Gosh
OOS Out of state
OP Original Post(er)
OSU Ohio State University
OT Off Topic
OTOH On the other hand
OU Ohio University
OU Oklahoma State and Oklahoma University
p-ton or pton Princeton
PA Peer Assessment
PENN University of Pennsylvania or Penn State
PG Postgraduate year
PLME Program in Liberal Medical Education (Brown’s special medical program)
PLOS Parent Looking Over Shoulder
PLTW Project Lead The Way
PM Personal Messages
PSU Penn State
PWN Someone who dominates
R+B Room and Board
RA Rolling Admissions
RAR Regional Admissions Representive
RD Regular Decision
RIT Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
ROFL Rolling on the floor
ROFLMAOPMP Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off peeing my pants
ROFLOL Rolling on the floor/laughing out loud
ROI Return on Investment
RPI Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
RSI Research Science Institute at MIT
S Son
S1 Son # 1, Son #2, etc.
S12 Son graduated in 2012
SA Situational Awareness
SAT A national college admissions examination.
SCEA Single Choice Early Action (non-binding but can apply to only one early school)
SDSU San Diego State University
SEAS Science, Engineering and Applied Sciences aka FU Foundation
SEC South East (athletic) Conference
SES Socio-Economic Status
SIL Sister in Law
SIR Statement of Intent to register
SMH Shaking my head
SMU Southern Methodist U
SN Screen Name
SO Significant Other
Stats A student’s GPA, test scores, curriculum and extracurriculars
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
SU Syracuse University
SU Seattle U
SUNY State University of New York System
SWAP Swarthmore, Williams, Amherst & Pomona (Top LACs)
T1 Twin 1, Twin 2
TAP Transfer 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.
TASP Telluride Association Summer Program (6 week summer program for juniors)
TASS Telluride Association Summer Program (6 week summer program for sophomores)
TCE Total College Experience
THE Times Higher Education
The Ivies Eight 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 Sisters Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley
TIA Thanks in advance
Tip Something that can tip a candidates app one way or another
TJHSST Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
TO Thematic Option at Univ of Southern California
TOEFL Test of English as a foreign language
TOK Theory of Knowledge IB course
TTFM Too tough for me
TTFN TaTa for Now
UAA University Athletic Association
UC University of California Schools
UC University of Chicago
UCB University of California, Berkeley
UCD University of California, Davis
UCI University of California, Irvine
UCLA University of California, Los Angeles
UCM University of California, Merced
UCR University of California, Riverside
UCSB University of California, Santa Barbara
UCSC University of California, Santa Cruz
UCSD University of California, San Diego
UCSF University of California, San Francisco (has no undergrad programs)
UDub University of Washington
UIUC University of Illinois
UK University of Kentucky
UM University of Maryland
UM University of Michigan
UM University of Miami
UM University of Minnesota
UM University of Montana
UM University of Memphis
UM University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
Umass University of Massachusetts
UMD University of Maryland
UMSL University of Missouri St. Louis
UNC University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
UofC University of Chicago
UPENN University of Pennsylvania
URM Under Represented Minority
USABO United States of America Biology Olympiad
USAFA United States Air Force academy
USAMO United States of America Mathematics Olympiad
USC University of Southern California
USC University of South Carolina
USCGA United States Coast Guard Academy
USD University of San Diego
USD University of South Dakota
USHAP Advanced Placement United States History
USMA United States Military Academy
USMMA United States Merchant Marine Academy
USNA United States Naval Academy
USNWR US News World Report
UW University of Washington
VC Vassar
W+J Washington and Jefferson
W+L Washing and Lee
WASP Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Pomona
WASP White Anglo Saxon Protestant
WL Wait List
WOW Walks on water
WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)
WUE Western Undergraduate Exchange
WUSTL Washington U – St. Louis
Yale-NUS Residential LAC in Singapore: collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore
YMMV Your mileage may vary