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When starting the college search process, you may find yourself unfamiliar with many terms and acronyms. Here’s a list of college lingo to keep in mind! Understanding the language around college, you will be better prepared to succeed in college. 

Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor is someone who may guide prospective and current students through admissions, course registration, degree completion, scholarships, and more. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements are the criteria that universities require when admitting prospective students. Examples of an admissions requirement would be your high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, or test scores. 

Award Letter

Colleges and universities send award letters to students that detail the financial support the student is eligible to receive. 

Bursar’s Office

The Bursar’s Office deals with all things financial aid and scholarships. 

Credit Hour

Credit hours is college lingo for the amount of time you spend in the classroom each week. Generally, most classes are worth 3 credit hours which means you will be in the classroom 3 times per week. 

Demonstrated Interest

For some colleges, demonstrated interest is really important in college admission decisions; they want to know who is enthusiastic about attending their school. Colleges track demonstrated interest by looking at the number of campus visits, expressed interest at a college fair, completion of supplemental essays, meetings with alumni, and admissions interviews. 

Degree Audit

Your degree audit allows you to track your progress towards your degree. You can typically access this on the same student account you use to check your grades. The degree audit shows you all the credits you have completed thus far in your college career, and the amount of credits you have left before graduation.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment allows high school students to take introductory college courses that simultaneously count towards high school graduation. Typically taught by college-approved high school teachers, this is a great way to receive a reduced rate on tuition. You may even have the opportunity to take these courses on campus, allowing you to become more familiar with the college environment. 

Fee Waiver

Fee waivers are there to alleviate the cost of tests and applications. Here are some ways you can obtain a fee waiver.

Full-Time Student

Generally, a full-time student is enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at a college or university. Most classes are worth 3 credit hours each, so a full-time student takes at least 4 classes per semester. 


GED stands for General Educational Development test. It’s a test that is equivalent to a high school diploma. 


A major is the area of study you choose in college. Most of the courses you take in college will be related to your college major, and you will earn your degree in that subject. 

Office Hours

When a professor has office hours, this refers to a specific set of hours in which you can see your professor outside of class and ask questions. Even if you don’t need help with your studies, you can always attend office hours to introduce yourself!

Room and Board

Room and Board refers to on-campus housing and meal plans for college students. Some colleges require first-year students to sign up for Room and Board as a way to acclimate to college. Though it isn’t required of older students to live on-campus, it is often a housing option for all students throughout their entire college experience. 

Support Services

Student support services include prevention, assistance, transition and follow-up services for students. 

We hope this list of vocabulary helps you understand a little bit more about college! To learn more college lingo, check out these terms about financial aid and admissions.