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College Terminology

Learning the terms below will help make college life much less complicated!

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.

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 on the website and student portal.
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.
All graduates of a college.
Applying to college
Submitting a completed admission application to the college's Admissions office.
Associate Degree
A two-year academic program.
Attending a course without receiving credit.
Bridge Courses
Nondegree 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 taken in high school.
An online publication with important information on admission, registration, student services, academic requirements, and programs of study.
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 in Navigate.
Continuing Education (CE)
Workforce Training (formerly Continuing Education) programs are professional development and personal interest courses that do not award academic credit but are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs).
Cooperative Education (Co-op)
Combines a student's classroom instruction with actual work experience; a student may receive course credit.
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 attend college, usually expressed as a yearly figure. COA includes tuition and fees, allowances for books, supplies and transportation.
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 they make a decision about their program of study.
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. 
The courses offered in a program of study.
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.
One of several units in a division.
TTC's Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system provides all academic instructional communications, content, assignments and grades.
Diploma Program
One-year academic program.
The process by which enrolled students make changes to their original class schedule during the first few days of each term. The number of days for drop/add varies for each session. Check the academic calendar for dates.
Dual Credit
Courses 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.
Evening College
With a large variety of courses starting at 4:30 p.m. or later, TTC Evening College offers students the ability to complete associate degree and certificate programs at night through full-time or part-time study while balancing their professional and personal responsibilities.
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).
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.
Federal Work-Study (FA)
Allows students to earn money while enrolled in college 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.
Full time
Enrollment in at least 12 credit hours of coursework. Typically, this is four 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.
The final awarding of a degree, diploma or certificate at TTC. Students must apply for graduation with the Registrar's office to receive the credential and march in the official ceremony. Students do not have to attend the ceremony to receive their credential.
Grants (FA)
Financial aid that does not have to be repaid. The grant amount is based on need.
The Hub/Orientation Center
A place for new students to learn the processes and services available to them at a college as well as be assigned their academic advisor. TTC's orientation is a walk-in service available every day the college is open.
Hybrid Course
Hybrid courses combine traditional lecture instruction with online learning.
Individualized Study Plan
ISP courses meet in person and use computer tutorials, guided instruction, learning lab activities and self-paced lessons using a variety of media, including Internet resources.
The principal activities in a lab course are "hands on" and include observation, discussion, participation, and experimentation.
Learning Resource Center (LRC)
The library.
Lecture courses typically meet in person multiple times a week during fixed times.
Loan (FA)
Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Maximum loan amounts depend on the student's year in college and financial need.
SC Lottery-Funded Tuition Assistance (SCLTA) (FA)
SC 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.
Your program of study or the degree you wish to earn. Matriculation official registration/enrollment of a student in college.
A three-week term during Summer Semester.
Three-week terms with start dates throughout the semester.
TTC's student web portal, which provides non-instructional student email, club sites, announcements, message boards, calendars, Google Docs and more. Student email and Student Self Service can also be accessed through
Navigate is an online advisement product for academic planning and registration.
A Navigator assists with general help and guidance throughout the enrollment process. A Navigator also assigns academic advisors based on academic protocol.
Noncredit/Workforce Training (formerly Continuing Education) courses are professional development and personal interest courses that do not award academic credit but are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs).
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.
Using the internet. TTC offers courses, email and registration that are accessed from
Online Course
All instruction in online courses is delivered entirely via the internet through the college’s learning management platform, Desire 2 Learn (D2L). There are no required live meetings and all materials and communication with the instructor and other students can be completed in D2L.
Open Advising Session
Group sessions offered once per month for prospective Nursing students only. Also, these sessions are available online.
Open Lab
Open Lab courses provide flexibility for the completion of lab activities. These classes may have both an online and face-to-face component. Open Lab Hours will vary based on program. Your academic advisor or instructor will provide you with additional information.
New student orientation is an opportunity for students to learn what services are available and how processes work at a college.
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 aware of the type of financial aid you have and 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 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 test is free. Students graduating from a high school within the last five years with a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher who can provide a final, official transcript during the admission process will not need to take the placement test and will be eligible to enroll directly into college-level courses. 
A completed course or specified test scores needed to enroll in another course.
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 how you will pay back the loan.
Entering course selections in Navigate to reserve your seat in a class. All students must apply and be accepted to the college before they can register for classes.
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. See 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  to earn a degree, diploma or certificate.
An opportunity to take all or part of the placement test again. Retest fee is $25.
Scheduled Online Meetings
SOM courses are live online courses that are conducted in real time. The instructor and students meet in videoconference sessions, which begin and end at fixed times.
Selective Service Registration (FA)
If required by law, you must register with the Selective Service to receive federal student aid.
A 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 attend any SC state-supported college or university for a total of four 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 in Navigate.
Subsidized Loan (FA)
A loan where the federal government pays the interest while you are in college. You begin repayment and interest begins six months after your have graduated or cease at least half-time enrollment.
1) Academic: A period of time when students are not permitted to attend classes due to below minimum academic performance or disciplinary actions.
2) (FA) 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.
A document distributed to students by the instructor, which shows course description and objectives, grading system and other important information.
A shorter period during a semester. Fall and Spring semesters consist of two seven-week terms. Summer Semester has Maymester, which is a three-week term, and two four-and-a-half week terms. Several Minimesters (three-week terms) are offered throughout Fall and Spring semesters.
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.
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 from another college will count toward the degree. Students must have their official transcript sent to TTC's Registrar's office for evaluation.
TTC Online College
Courses and student services that are offered entirely online. Some academic programs may be offered completely online.
A student who plans to earn a degree and has not chosen a program but is exploring career options and has met the admission requirements for most associate degree programs. These students are not eligible for most types of financial aid.
Unsubsidized Loan (FA)
A loan where the interest begins when you receive the loan.
Warning (FA)
Financial Aid/Veterans/State Free Tuition: The status below good academic standing described in the Standards of Academic Progress.
Until a published date, a student may remove themselves from a class with no punitive grade.
Workforce Training
Workforce Training (formerly Continuing Education) programs are professional development and personal interest courses that do not award academic credit but are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs).