College & Career Center » Glossary of College Terms

Glossary of College Terms




When you are planning for college, career, and financial aid, you will see many new terms. Become familiar with the vocabulary here. Thank you to our Guidance Counselor, Ms. Evelyn Beas, for this helpful information!

A Accreditation Refers to a designation all credible institutions of higher education are required to have. Accredited (similar to regulated, monitored, and reviewed) institutions are reviewed by one or more independent organizations called accreditors to make certain that educational standards are being met. There are regional, national, and subject-specific accrediting organizations.
B Bachelor's Degree
A degree earned upon successful completion of undergraduate studies.
C Certificate Programs Refers to programs offered at community colleges for students to pursue technical careers that do not require an associate's or bachelor's degree. For example, medical assistant, electrician, or preschool teacher. Community colleges generally offer different types of certificates, such as career certificates, certificates of achievement, certificates of proficiency, etc. For more information, contact your local community college.
D Degree Refers to a rank conferred by a college or university after you have successfully completed specified courses and requirements. You can earn different degrees depending on the type of college you attend. Also see Associates’ Degree, Certificate Programs, Bachelor’s Degree and/or Graduate Degree.
E Extra Curricular Activities Refers to activities you participate in outside of the classroom. Extracurricular activities include after-school activities like sports, clubs, student government, community service, religious groups, social organizations, etc. Colleges value participation in extracurricular activities - it is important to demonstrate meaningful, long-term commitment to your extracurricular activities.
F Financial Aid Refers to grants/scholarships, loans, and work study assistance to help students pay for college. The federal and state governments, and colleges distribute financial aid. There are two types of financial aid: need-based and merit-based. See Need-Based Financial Aid and Merit-Based Financial Aid for more information.
G Grants (also called Scholarships) Refers to a type of financial aid that are gifts. You do not pay any of the money you receive back.
H Higher Education Refers to degree-granting programs for high school graduates or people with General Education Development (GED) certificates.
I Impacted Major Refers to major for which more students apply for than the school can accommodate. These majors tend to have higher standards of admission. It is important to consider if the major of interest to you is impacted before making a decisions about where to apply and where to enroll.
J Junior (Community College) A Junior/Community College is a two-year institution of higher education. Course offerings generally include a transfer curriculum with credits transferable toward a bachelor's degree at a four-year college and an occupational or technical curriculum with courses of study designed to prepare students for employment in two years.
K Knowledge Research your college and university options.  Not every school or program is right for every student. Learn, build your college knowhow and apply.
L Loans Refers to financial aid you will have to pay back after you finish school. There are many types of loans. All loans accrue interest which you are responsible for paying.
M Minor Refers to an academic field of study, similar to a major, but with fewer required courses. Minors are not required, but many students choose a minor to increase their knowledge in a field other than their major, which can enhance marketability in the workforce. Often times students minor in a separate, but related field to their major. For example, a marketing major who minors in psychology or communications gains more depth and understanding of marketing from the minor.
N Networking Refers to the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions. More specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.
O Open Admission Refers to an admissions procedure used by some colleges, usually community colleges and some other public institutions, in which students are admitted regardless of academic qualifications.
P Priority Registration  Refers to the ability for a college student to register on an earlier date, compared to most students, if they qualify. This usually guarantees a student a space in a course that has limited space.
Q Quad A rectangular area surrounded by buildings on all sides, usually found in the middle of a campus. Students gather here, making it a common area for the university. Visit quads of colleges you're interested in and talk to students - they're a great resource of information during your college research!
R Register This is the procedure by which students choose classes each semester. It also includes the assessment and collection of fees.
S Syllabus The syllabus includes college, division, and departmental information and explains expectations, policies and requirements for a particular course.
T Transfer Student A student entering the reporting institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate, graduate). The student may transfer with or without credit.
U Undergraduate An undergraduate is a student who is pursuing a one-, two-, or four-year degree.
V Verification Verification is a process required by federal regulations, used to validate the accuracy of information and data reported on the FAFSA and/or for resolving conflicting information in a student's financial aid record. Students are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education or by Greenville Technical College, based on certain criteria. Greenville Technical College verifies information included on the FAFSA if the student reports income less than $3000 per household member, conflicting information in the file or the student is selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS). Applications selected for verification are indicated by an asterisk (*) next to the EFC number on the Student Aid Report (SAR).
W Work Study Refers to a type of federal financial aid where students work part-time during the school year and are paid a specific amount by the federal government. Each college has specific jobs that are designated for work-study students. Work-study is awarded based on student need and the money can be used to pay for any college costs. Also see College Costs.


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