College and Career Glossary

Here are some important terms to know that are used in the college and career planning process:

College Opportunity Programs

There many opportunity programs in New York State that provide students with extra help, including, tutoring supports, school supplies and other services to help students do well in college:

Speak to your child’s school counselor to find if your child is eligible for any of these programs.


City University of New Yok (CUNY) is a good option for many immigrants in New York City. It has many four-year and two-year colleges across the city. CUNY colleges are public colleges that cost less than private colleges. It also has special programs like CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) that help students learn English and offer other help.

Financial Aid

Help for families to pay for college. There is free money for college from the government, colleges, and other sources to help your family pay for college.

Financial Plan

A plan for how your family will spend the money you have earned so that you have enough money for things that are important to you. Start by making a budget. A budget is a list of all the money you earn in a month and everything you spend it on. When you plan, make a budget, and see where money your goes, it is easier to save money for important things. Start financial planning for college now.

High School Equivalency

Students who wish to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma take the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) exam. If you're over 21 years of age, the Adult Education section of our website is for you.

From there you can enroll in high school equivalency classes, adult education classes, and learn about the equivalency exam.


SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. Most colleges require high school students to take the SAT before they apply to college. Most students take the exam in eleventh grade and the PSAT (Practice SAT) in tenth grade. Many colleges will tell you how high you have to score on the SAT to be admitted into their college.

Some colleges require other tests called SAT II tests or SAT Subject Tests. There is another exam like the SAT that some colleges require. It is called the ACT. Colleges will tell you which test they want students to take.

Learn more about college entrance exams.


State University of New York (SUNY) is also a public university. SUNY has many four-year and two-year colleges outside of New York City. It also has many programs and supports for immigrant students.


TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. If your child graduated from high school in another country and is coming to the U.S. to go to college, or if they are an English Language Learner who is new to the country, they can take the TOEFL. If your child is an English Language Learner and graduates from a high school in the U.S., they should take both the SAT and the TOEFL. The TOEFL measures your child’s level of English. A good score on the TOEFL shows colleges that your child is ready for college.