Glossary of Terms

A national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, mathematics, reading and science with an optional essay. It is a standardized test measures students' skills and helps colleges evaluate how ready students are for college-level work.

CFCIP - Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) provides funding to pay for services to help youth prepare for and enter postsecondary education. Some of these services include academic support services including educational and career assessment and counseling, tutorial and mentoring services, examination preparation, SAT/ACT/PSAT fees, applications for admission to college, visits to colleges and clothing for college interviews. Be sure to check with your case worker to see if you are eligible for any of these funds. The program is intended to serve youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18; youth who, after attaining 16 years of age, have left foster care for kinship guardianship or adoption; and young adults ages 18-21 who have "aged out" of the foster care system.
Direct Subsidized Loan
The Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal loan for students who have financial need. The financial aid office will review your FAFSA to determine the amount you can borrow. You are not charged with interest while you’re in school at least half-time and during certain deferment periods. Student loans should be a LAST RESORT source of financial aid.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federal loan for students. You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive this type of loan. The financial aid office will determine the amount you can borrow. Interest is charged on this loan from the time it’s first paid out. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (added to the principal amount of the loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount. Student loans should be a LAST RESORT source of financial aid.

EOP - Educational Opportunity Program
The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program helps youth aging out of foster care to make the transition to self-sufficiency and receive the education, training and services necessary to obtain employment. This program is designed to help former foster youth who have not yet attained the age of 21 years old who are eligible for services under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to pay for post-secondary education or training. ETV gives students up to $5000 a year for qualified school related expenses. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students. Students looking for ETV funds must complete the ETV application (imbed hyperlink: Youth must have been accepted into or be enrolled in a degree, certificate or other accredited program at a college, university, technical, or vocational school to qualify.

ETV - Education Training Voucher
Youth eligible for vouchers under this program are foster care youth and former foster care youth who have not yet attained the age of 21 years who are eligible for services under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP), and youth adopted from foster care after the age of 16.This also applies for youth in kinship guardianship. A youth participating in the ETV program when he or she attains 21 years of age may remain eligible until the youth attains 23 years of age, provided the youth continues to be enrolled in and attending a postsecondary educational or vocational training program and is making satisfactory progress toward completion of that program. Your local district is repsonsible for determinining your eligibility for this program.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
This is the form used by the US Department of Education to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by conducting a "need analysis" based on financial information, such as income, assets and other household information, which you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) will be asked to provide.
FSEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a grant that is awarded to students in need of financial aid. It is a type of federal grant that is awarded college undergraduate program students and does not need to be repaid. A student awarded the FSEOG may receive up to $4,000.00 per year depending on the gravity of the person’s financial aid need.

FWS - Federal Work-Study
This program provides part-time employment for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay their education expenses. Not all schools offer the program. It is administered by the college financial aid office.

GED - Test of General Educational Development - See HSE/TASC - High School Equivalency


HEOP - Higher Education Opportunity Program
The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is an academic support program established by the State of New York in 1970. The program is available at participating private colleges and universities in New York State. It enables motivated students who lack adequate preparation and financial resources for college attendance to pursue a college degree. To meet the specific need of its students, HEOP primarily provides testing, counseling, and tutoring. Academic advisement and financial assistance are also available. Students must meet certain academic and economic guidelines to qualify for the program.
HSE/TASC - High School Equivalency Program
The GED Test of General Education Development was replaced in 2014 with the HighSchool Equivalency (HSE) Program. In New York, the test is called TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) and is available to adults over the age 19 who did not complete high school (students under age 19 must meet eligibility guidelines). The TASC is available in English and Spanish at test preparation centers across the State. The TASC includes five sections to assess knowledge at the high school level in math, writing, reading, social studies, and science. Passing scores from previous GED tests will count toward passing the TASC until 2016.

IEP Diploma - Individualized Education Program Diploma
It is not a standards-based diploma and is not recognized in New York State as equivalent to a regular high school diploma.
Independent student status
As a youth in care, or a former youth in care, you are eligible to be considered for Independent Student Status. The Department of Education uses a set of criteria for determining if a student is considered Independent for financial aid purposes. If a person is considered Independent, this means that their parents’ financial information is NOT considered when determining the student’s financial aid, and therefore NOT required on the FAFSA. Independent status is grant to students who are orphans (both parents deceased) wards of the court or were in foster care at any time on or after their 13th birthday, even if they have subsequently been adopted. This also applies for youth in kinship guardianship. For a complete list of the criteria visit 's the Office of Federal Student Aid’s Dependency Status page. Make sure you answer YES to the question “At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?” on your FAFSA application so you can be considered for independent status. You may need to provide documentation to the financial aid office to show proof of your independent status. Ask your caseworker for a letter stating your independent status on agency letterhead.

PELL Grant
The federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant awarded to eliible undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Eligibility for the Pell Grant is determined by the FAFSA and the financial aid office. The amount awarded depends on financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

PSAT - Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test
A college admission test offered by The College Board that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It is a standardized test that is an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities in the areas of math, reading, and writing, including a written essay.
TAP - Tuition Assistance Program
The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is New York’s largest grant program, which helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions pay for tuition. Eligibility for TAP grants are based on student, spouse (if married), and/or parent (if dependent) New York State taxable income.

Youth in Care/Formerly in Care
Any youth who are or were in the care or custody of a local Department of Social Services, placed in an OCFS facility, youth adopted from foster care after age 16, or in relative kinship care. This includes but is not limited to youth who are or may have been living with foster parents, relative parents (kinship), in group homes, residential treatment centers, etc.