Terminology and Glossary

Terminology and Glossary



Academic advisement: Students are entitled to receive an advice in regard to their actual educational context, short and long term goals. Faculty members or training advisors may offer this type of service.

Accelerated program: Taking summer classes or an extra course, it is possible to complete a college study program in a quicker time than usual.

Accreditation: An authorization of an academic degree program or educational institution provided by a state organization that is in charge of qualification reviews.

Admitted student: Applicant who is accepted to an educational institution.

Application fee: an amount of money required by an institution to process the student’s application. It is non refundable.

Associate's degree: a two year degree provided by a community or junior college.

Audit: People attend classes but they will not receive any course credits.


Bachelor's degree: A degree that students can obtain when they have completed four of college. Must have obtained a certain number of credit hours (usually 124 credits.)

Board (charges): housing and meal plans.

Books and supplies (costs): Average cost of supplies and books.


Class rank: Students’ class rank is calculated by their high school grades based on their grade-point average (GPA.)

College-preparatory program: Students take courses in academic subjects such as Mathematics, Foreign Languages, English, History, Social Studies, Arts and Science that are supposed to prepare you to take college level courses.

Course numbers: Numbers reserved to specific classes.

Credit: A value given for attendance or performance in a course or program. A certain number of credits is required in order to achieve a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Credit course: Students may obtain a degree, a diploma or a certificate if they complete a certain number of credit courses.

Credit hour: A student can be given credit hours for attending a number of lectures per week. The majority of college classes are three hours a week that allows students to receive three credit hours.


Degree: A certificate that confirms the successful completion of a program in any university, college or post secondary institution.

Degree plan: A student needs to complete a specific list of courses required plus electives.

Diploma: A certificate awarded by an educational institution to prove that the students have successfully completed the program.

Distance learning: Students take online classes. To do so, they must be able to access the internet.

Doctoral degree: The highest degree that students can achieve.

Dual enrollment: An option for high school students to enroll in college while they are still attending high school.


English as a Second Language (ESL): Learning course designed for students whose native language is not English.

Exchange student program-domestic: A program that enables students to study at another college within the U.S for one or more semesters.


Fees: Additional costs.

Financial aid applicant: A prospective student who asks for financial help to attend tuition costs.

Financial need: It is determined according to the student’s actual economic situation.

First professional certificate (post-degree): An award that is given to students hold their first professional degrees and have completed the requirements of the program.

First professional degree: An award than students can obtain when they’ve complete a course in one of the following fields: medicine (MD), osteopathic medicine (DO), dentistry (DDS, DMD), veterinary medicine (DVM), Pharmacy (BPharm, PharmD), chiropractic (DC, DCM), optometry (OD), law (LLB, JD), divinity/ministry (BD, MDiv), rabbinical and Talmudic studies (MHL, Rav) and podiatry (PodD, DP, DPM.)

Flat-rate tuition: Some institution may charge a single rate to a student that is taking more classes than usual.

Full time: 12 or more semester credit hours for undergraduate students.

Full-time student (undergraduate): A student who is enrolled for 12 or more credit hours per semester.


Geographical residence (as admission factor): Students who are coming from a particular region, state or country of residence can be given special consideration in regard to the admission process.

GPA: It means the “Grade point average”. It is an average of the student class grades (based on a 4.0 scale.)

Graduate student: A student who is holding a first professional degree or bachelor’s degree and is taking post-baccalaureate level courses.

Grants: A financial amount provided by an institution, organization or state as a non-reversible deposit.


Half time: It means six semester credit hours for undergraduates.

High school diploma or recognized equivalent: A certificate that confirms the successful completion of a secondary school program in accordance to the rules given by the state.

Honours program: A special program intended to provide gifted student with funds and independent study.


Independent study: Students can choose studying program that they would like to study outside their educational institution under the instructor’s supervision. It is subject to the approval of the department involved.

Institutional and external funds: grants, alumni, or external financial sources which indicate the recipient and the amount awarded in USD.

Internship: A short-term work experience usually related to the student’s curriculum. There are paid and non-paid internships.

International students: Foreign students who are coming to the USA by using a visa student.


Junior: A student who has received 60 to 89 college credits.


Learning centre: It’s where students obtain help with Math, English or any other courses that they find difficult to understand. Students also learn to take notes and to manage their time.

Legal services: legal advice are provided with low cost or free of charge

Loans: amounts of money lent. They have to be repaid.


Major: Main field ofstudy.

Master's degree: A graduate degree that requires a successful completion of the program.

Minor: Second field of study.

Minority student centre: It means a centre focused on assisting students who come from minority groups.


Need-based aid: An award provided by the state, the federal government, or the institution, and it is funded or administered by the college. Its receiver needs to fulfil some financial need criteria.


Online courses: Courses that can be taken via internet.

Open admission: Secondary school graduates or students with equivalence of GED diplomas are accepted regardless of test scores and academic records.

Other expenses (costs): It may include average costs for medical help (if a fee not required), laundry, clothing, furnishings and entertainment.


Part-time student (undergraduate): A student who is enrolled for less than 12 semester credit hours.

Post-baccalaureate certificate: It is award intent on students having completed a baccalaureate degree, but do not meet master degrees requirements. This award requires termination of an organized studying program consisting of at least 18 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.

Post-master's certificate: It is award intent on students how have completed an organized studying program consisting of 24 credit hours beyond the master's degree. This award does not meet requirements of doctoral level degrees.

Prerequisite: an essential course needs to be taken prior another course enrolment.

Private for-profit institution: It is a private institution in which the individuals or the controlling agency receives an extra payment that differs from a rent, wages, and other costs.

Private non-profit institution: It is a private institution (either independent or associated with a religious organization) in which the individuals or controlling agency receives no extra payment that differs from a rent, wages, and other costs.

Private university: A non-state educational institution owned by a private individual or agency and it is funded with fees, tuition and private sources.

Public university: A state owned educational institution.


Quarter calendar system: A system in which the academic year contains 3 parts called quarters. Each quarter consists of approximately 12 weeks, but the length may vary from 10 to 15 weeks. There might be an extra quarter during the summer.


Registration: Class enrolment.

Remedial services: Courses set to help to students to develop the skills needed to continue a regular postsecondary curriculum.

Required fees: Fees charged to students for items not included in tuition costs.

Resident: A student who fulfils state’s residence requirements.

Rolling admission: a process of sending acceptance letters to students by the school.

Religious affiliation/commitment (as admission factor): Students who are associated with a certain religion, committed with a religious profession, or need to keep a certain religious lifestyle or principles, are given a special consideration during the admission process.


Secondary school record (as admission factor): A record that concerns information about a student’s class rank, transcript, GPA and counsellor and teacher’s recommendations.

Semester calendar system: A system in which the academic year is divided in two semesters. Each semester consists of 16 weeks. There might be an extra part during the summer.

Senior: A student holding 90 or more credit hours, but he/she has not obtained a Bachelor’s degree yet.

Scholarships: a fund provided to a student based on his/her grade results. It’s non-refundable.

Scholarships/grants from external sources: funds obtained from outside Sources (e.g. National Merit scholarships.)

Study abroad: Students can complete a part of their studying program by attending college in a foreign country in case of any arrangements between their U.S college and a foreign educational institution.

Summer session: It lasts around six weeks. It is not considered part of the academic year.


Talent/ability (as admission factor): Students who have demonstrated exceptional talents/abilities in areas such as sports, arts, etc are given a special consideration in regard to the admission process.

Teacher certification program: Program specialized in preparing future teachers.

Transfer student: A student who has previously attended a postsecondary institution of the same level. His/her previous credits received may be transferred.

Trimester calendar system: A system in which the academic year contains three parts that consist of fifteen weeks.

Tuition: Course costs.


Undergraduate: A student below a baccalaureate degree while enrolled in a four- or five-year bachelor's degree program.


Veteran's counselling: A service that helps veterans and their dependents to receive program benefits.

Visually impaired: A person who has lost his/her sight.

Volunteer work (as admission factor): Students who have worked as volunteers (e.g., hospital care, working with disabled people or the elderly, tutoring) for a community or the public in general will be given a special consideration in regard to the admission process.


Web registration: People can enrol classes by registering into a specific web address.

Work-study program: Financial aid program provided by the federal government. It enables students to work on campus.

Wait list: Students who meet admission requirements will be allowed to attend college classes once there’s a slot available.

Weekend College: A program that offers students to attend classes on weekends only.

Work experience (as admission factor): Students who have had Work prior to their application, will be given a special in regard to the admission process.

Work study and employment: Work and study help provided by the Federal or State government.