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College Experience Terms

  • Coed - A school, facility, or program that includes all gender identities.
  • College - An institution where a student studies to earn a degree and / or certificate after high school.
  • Community College - An institution where students earn degrees and / or certificates. Tuition discounts are often given to students in the local community.
  • Course Audit - If a person has an interest in learning more on a topic, but does not want to have the class become a part of their GPA, they can audit a course with approval from the instructor.
  • Commuter Student - A student who lives off campus and travels to school for classes.
  • Course Drop and Add Date - Students are generally allowed to drop or add courses to their semester schedules up to a specific date in the semester. Classes dropped before the drop date do not become a part of the student's GPA.
  • Course Fee - The tuition a student pays per credit hour for a class.
  • Course Numbers - Numbers to sign to courses in college, the higher the number the more advanced the class.
  • Credit Hour - The number of credits given for a course, which is then used to determine the student's GPA.
  • Cumulative GPA - Calculates your grade GPA from all classes to date.
  • Dormitory - Dormitories, known as "residence halls" are buildings on college campuses where students live.
  • Fraternity / Sorority - Fraternities and sororities are social organizations at some colleges that are made up of like-minded people.
  • Freshman - A student in the first year of high school or college.
  • Graduate Assistant (GA) - Stands for "graduate assistant", a student usually pursuing a graduate degree but who also works on-campus.
  • Gen Ed - Stands for a general education course which are courses all students must take, regardless of major.
  • Humanity Courses - Humanities courses or classes covering subjects such as literature, philosophy, and the Fine Arts. Most undergraduate degrees require a minimum number of humanity credit hours.
  • Junior - A student in their third year of high school or college.
  • Laboratory - Most science courses have a required separate lab course to be taken in the semester. In lab, students conduct experiments and do the hands-on practice of the class.
  • Lecture - Traditional class session with a professor teaching the course to students, often in lecture format.
  • Lower Division Courses - These courses, usually 100 or 200 level, are the first classes you take in college (usually as a freshman or sophomore). Most are prerequisites for advanced courses.
  • Major - A student's concentrated field of study and an undergraduate degree program.
  • Minor - A student's secondary field of study. A minor usually consists of 5-8 courses, which is less than half of the course is required for a major.
  • NCAA - The NCAA is an organization that oversees athletic program participation, guidelines, and eligibility for competition at over 1,000 colleges and universities, with roughly 500,000 student athletes participating.
  • Registrar - The registrar's office is responsible for the maintenance of all academic records. Records can include: class enrollment, athletic eligibility, honor roll eligibility, academic probation and verification completed of degree requirements for graduation.
  • Student Activity Fee - A fee that is separate from your tuition. These fees fund student organizations, activities, and other services provided on campus.
  • Summer Session - A term of classes, lasting approximately 6 weeks.
  • Syllabus / Syllabi - An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the professor or instructor, and usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to the course. "Syllabi" is plural for "syllabus".
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) - A graduate or undergraduate student who works with a professor for research and student support; they also sometimes teach classes on behalf of the professor.
  • Thesis - An extensive research paper written on a specific topic as a part of a student's degree requirement. They are usually presented to a committee of professors for review.
  • Upper Division Courses - Classes designed for students within a specific course of study that usually have prerequisite courses and are taken in the second half of a student’s college career.
  • Verification - Verification occurs when a student’s FAFSA is either by random selection or due to an issue with their application. It means additional information is required for acquiring financial aid.
  • Waiting List - An admission status where students are not fully admitted, but have also not been declined. Admission may require additional coursework, or simply time for the university to determine availability of space based upon how many other admissions offers are accepted.
  • Withdrawal - If withdrawing from the school, students must follow established procedures for doing so to ensure they do not continue to pay tuition.