Orientation Services > College Terminology
College Terminology

Every organization has a unique language. Thousands of colleges and universities in the United States are collectively referred to as institutions of higher learning and they all generally use the same language.

Sometimes you get the right answer to a question you asked, but the wrong answer to the question you thought you asked because you used the wrong vocabulary words.  Additionally, you can misunderstand important information given to you from a college office because you are not familiar with "college terminology." College life will be less complicated if you familiarize yourself with the language of TTC.

Words specific to Financial Aid will have (FA) before the definition.

Academic Advisor An instructor in an academic program who advises students concerning academic programs and class schedules. Counselors serve as academic advisors to students who are undecided as to major.
Academic Calendar The official college calendar showing deadlines, holidays, student activity events, etc. An annual academic calendar is in the college catalog. A more detailed calendar is found in each semester's On Course and online.
Academic Suspension This occurs after any three consecutive terms of enrollment in which your term GPA is below 2.0, and the first term in which your cumulative GPA is below 2.0.
Advanced Standing The awarding of academic credit for courses/tests/training taken at other colleges and universities.
Acceptance to college Fulfilling the entrance requirements to be allowed to register for courses.
Alumni All graduates.
Applying to college Submitting a completed admissions application to the college's Admissions Office and paying the application fee.
Associate Degree A two-year college degree.
Auditing Attending a course without receiving credit.
Bridge Courses Non-degree credit courses that cover high school level content. These courses are offered for students who need to brush up on concepts previously learned or never took the course in high school.
Catalog A publication with important information on admissions, registration, student services, academic requirements, and programs of study.
Certificate A one-year or less academic program.
Class Schedule The times (hours and days), locations (campus, building, room number), and instructors for courses during a term or semester. Copies of students' class schedules are available from their academic advisor or from TTC Express.
Continuing Education (CE) A division of the college that offers non-credit training. These courses are not paid for by traditional financial aid.
Cooperative Education (Co-op) Combines a student's classroom instruction with actual work experience; a student may receive course credit. 
Corequisite A course that must be taken at the same time as another course.
Cost of Attendance (COA) (FA) The total it will cost a student to go to school, usually expressed as a yearly figure. COA includes tuition and fees, allowances for books, supplies, and transportation.  
Counselor An employee in TTC's Counseling and Career Development Department who can help students with personal, academic, and disability accommodation problems, and is trained to take students through the career decision-making process. TTC's counselors are the academic advisors for undecided students until the students make a decision about their major.
Credit The amount of work a student completes is referred to as credit hours. Each course is assigned a specific number of credits based on the amount of time spent in class and/or lab. To receive a degree, diploma or certificate, a specified number of credits is required.
Credit by exam A student can receive credit for a specified course if he/she passes an exam. There are several types of exams, such as CLEP, AP and challenge.  Students should ask their academic advisor about this option.
Curriculum The courses offered in a program of study.
Dean The head of an academic division or an area within the college.
Default (FA) Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note.
Department One of several units in a division.
Desire2Learn TTC's Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system provides for all academic instructional communications, content, assignments, and grades.
Developmental Studies Nondegree course work designed to develop skills students need to be successful in a program of study.
Diploma Program One-year degree program.
Drop/Add The process by which enrolled students make changes to their original class schedule that occurs during the first few days of each term. The number of days varies for each session. Check the academic calendar for dates.
Dual Credit Courses taken at a college that will be counted toward high school and college graduation. Special arrangements must be made before enrolling in these courses. Students should start with their high school counseling office or the principal's office if they are interested.
Dual Major Students may declare two majors and take courses in both majors at the same time.
Eligible Program (FA) A program of study that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and meets the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for an eligible program.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (FA) An amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. It appears in the upper right-hand corner of your Student Aid Report (SAP).
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FA) Form to be filled out electronically to begin the process for requesting financial aid. TTC's school code is 004920.
Fast Forward Courses Accelerated courses that are 5-7 weeks in length.
Federal Work-Study (FA) Allows students to earn money while enrolled in school to help pay educational expenses. Students are usually allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
Financial Aid (FA) Financial assistance to help pay for college tuition, fees and materials.  It includes grants, loans, GI Bill, tuition assistance and scholarships.  
Financial Aid/State Free Suspension (FA) The status after "probation." A period of time when students are not eligible for financial aid because they fall below the FA/State Free Tuition Standards of Academic Progress.
Flex Classes College courses that are offered in formats other than in the traditional full semester. Examples: weekend college, online, course in a bag, fast forward.
Full time Enrollment in at least 12 credit hours of coursework. Typically, this is 4 courses.
Grade Point Average (GPA) A system of measuring students' course averages by using points for each grade. Learn how to calculate your own GPA.
Graduation The final awarding of a degree, diploma, or certificate at TTC. Students must apply at the Registrar's Office for graduation to receive the award and to march in the official ceremony. Students do not have to attend the ceremony to receive their award.
Grants (FA) Financial Aid that does not have to be repaid. The grant amount is based on need.
Learning Assistance A learning lab with audio/visual and computer resources and tutoring services.
Learning Resource Center (LRC) The library.
Loan (FA) Borrow money that must be repaid with interest. Maximum loan amounts depend on the student's year in school and financial need.
Lottery-Funded Tuition Assistance (LTA) (FA) Lottery-funded tuition assistance is determined by using the information on your FAFSA application. You must be a South Carolina resident and enroll in at least six credit hours. Lottery awards are based on credit hours of enrollment and availability of funds. LTA is not available to assist with book expenses. For additional information visit the LTA website Lottery and Other State Awards.
Major Your program of study or the degree you wish to earn.
Matriculation Official registration/enrollment of a student in college.
my.tridentech.edu TTC's student web portal.  My.tridenttech provides non-instructional student email, club sites, announcements, message boards, calendars, Google Docs, and more. TTC Express and my.tridenttech.edu Google e-mail can also be accessed through my.tridenttech.edu. 
Nondegree student A student who is attending college but has not selected a program of study. These students are not eligible for most types of financial aid.
On Course TTC's class schedule which includes a college calendar and general information about admissions, registration and financial aid.
Online Using the internet. TTC offers courses, email and registration that are accessed from its home website - www.tridenttech.edu.
Open Advising Session Group sessions offered once per month for prospective nursing students only. Also, available online.
Orientation 1) New student orientation is an opportunity for students to learn what services are available and how processes work at a college. 2) At TTC there are also "course orientations" for students who enroll in a Course in a Bag. These take place several days before classes start each semester. Check On Course for times and dates.
Orientation Center A place for new students to learn the processes and services available for them at a college. You will also be assigned your academic advisor. TTC's orientation is a walk-in service available every day the college is open.
Orientation Leader Employees in TTC's Orientation Centers who orient new students to TTC and its services, registers nondegree students, and answers general questions about the college. They are not academic advisors.
Part-time Enrollment in less than 12 credit hours of coursework. Most financial aid will pay for part time enrollment. Each type of financial aid has its own rules about enrollment. Be familiar with the type financial aid you have and take advantage of its regulations.
Pell Grant (FA) Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using the information on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Pin Number (FA) Allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically.
Placement Test A test of current skill-level in English, reading, and mathematics. Students who do not have qualifying SAT or ACT test scores, or who have not transferred in math and English courses from a regionally accredited college will be asked to take all or part of the TTC Placement Test. Students will be placed into courses based on the results of this test. The first time testing is free.
Prerequisite A completed course or specified test scores needed to enroll in another course.
Priority Registration The major registration period for current, returning, readmitted and early accepted new students that occurs prior to Registration Day for the upcoming semester.
Probation 1) Academic:  A warning signal that indicates poor academic performance. A student is placed on probation if his or her grade point average falls below the standards established by the College. 
2) (FA) Financial Aid/Veterans/State Free Tuition:  The step between "warning" and "suspension" as described in the FA Standards of Academic Progress.
Program of Study Your major or the degree you wish to earn.
Promissory Note (FA) The binding legal document you sign when you receive a student loan. It lists the conditions under which you are borrowing funds and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan.
Registration Entering course selections into the college's computerized registration system to reserve your seat in a class. All students must apply and be accepted to the college before they can register for classes.
Residency 1) The classification of how a person is going to be charged for tuition based on where he/she lives and for how long and under what circumstances.  Check appendix E-22 in the current catalog  for the complete Residency Policy of South Carolina. 2) At least 25% of the total credit hours in a program of study must be completed at TTC in order to earn a degree, diploma or certificate.
Retest An opportunity to take all or part of the placement test again. Retest fee is $25.
Selective Service Registration (FA) If required by law, you must register with the Selective Services to receive federal student aid.
Semester A typical length of time classes are offered at a college - usually 15 weeks.
South Carolina State Free Tuition Program (FA) Children of deceased or 100% disabled Veterans who were killed or disabled during military service can attend any SC state supported college or university up until their 26th birthday and pay no tuition or fees. Children of deceased or 100%  disabled police officers, firemen or rescue workers who were killed or disabled while on duty can go to any SC state supported college or university for a total of 4 years and pay no tuition or fees.
Student Aid Report (SAR) (FA) Lists all the information you reported on your FAFSA. It will contain your expected family contribution (EFC).
Student ID A picture identification card that is required for students to show in various college offices and labs for services.
Student ID number A number generated by TTC's electronic student database system when a student's application is entered. This number can be used in lieu of a social security number on most college documents. The number is displayed on a student's ID card and on the "My Profile" screen in TTC Express.
Subsidized Loan (FA) The federal government pays the interest while you are in school. You begin repayment, and interest begins, six months after your have graduated or cease at least half-time enrollment.
Suspension 1) Academic:  A period of time when students are not permitted to attend classes due to below minimum academic performance or disciplinary actions. 
2) Financial Aid/Veterans/State Free Tuition:  The status after "probation."  A period of time when students are not eligible for financial aid because they fall below the FA/VA/State Free Tuition  Standards of Academic Progress.
Syllabus A document distributed to students by the instructor. It shows the course description and objectives, the grading system and other important information.
Transcript An official record of all academic work attempted by a student. It may contain the course number, title of each course taken and the final grade received. In addition, there may be a compilation of the number of credits, number of grade points and the grade point average.
Transfer  Moving from one college to another where courses from one college may count toward a degree at another college. The college awarding the degree makes the decision as to whether a course transferred in from another college will count toward the degree. Students must have their official transcript sent to TTC's Registrar's Office for evaluation. 
TTC Express TTC's student registration/records software. Students receive an account within several days of applying to the college and can view their application status and records, register for classes, pay for fees, apply for graduation and much more. 
Undecided A student who plans to earn a degree, has not chosen a program but is exploring career options, and has met the admissions requirements for most associate degree programs. These students are not eligible for most types of financial aid.
Unsubsidized Loan (FA) The interest begins when you receive the loan.
Video Webcast

Video Webcast courses consist of Internet-delivered lectures and printed materials.  These courses require all students to have online access before choosing to enroll.  Books and supplies are available at the Main Campus Bookstore.  If the instructor requires meeting times/days during the semester, they will be announced at the mandatory orientation. 

Warning (FA) Financial Aid/Veterans/State Free Tuition:  The status below "good academic standing" described in the Standards of Academic Progress.
Weekend College Courses that are completed in five weeks. Students register for one course that meets all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon for five consecutive weekends.
Withdrawal Until a published date, a student may remove themselves from a class with no punitive grade.

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