Terms About College


Associate Degree- A two-year college degree earned at a community college or technical school. This degree can be transferred to a university or college to complete a degree.

Applied Associate Degree- A two year college degree earned at a community college or trade school that is intended to train the person for a career. This degree will not be transfer to a university or college.

Bachelor's Degree- A four-year college degree earned at a university or college.

Community College- A two-year public college for vocational training or academic transfer courses. Ex. Rend Lake College

Technical School- Private schools that train students in a variety of vocational fields. Ex. ITT

University- An institution of higher education with many different areas of study. Can be public or private. Ex. University of Illinois

Private- An institution that receives no tax support from any state. The schools can be small or very large. Ex. McKendree College

Admission Policy- The method and process of accepting students into an institution. (a) Open- all students are accepted. (b) Selective- the top ten percent are selected

College Night- A program in which representatives of colleges and universities are available to talk with students and parents.

Transfer Student- A student that has attended a community college or another college prior to enrollment at another school.

ACT Exam- A standardized test taken by juniors and seniors, and used by colleges to help select incoming freshmen for admission. This test covers English, Math, Science Reasoning and Reading.

PSAT- A test taken in the fall of the junior year. This standardized test is part of a national scholarship program. English and Math are covered on this test.

SAT- A standardized test used the same way as the ACT. This test is primarily used by colleges in the eastern part of the country.

Major- The primary field of study. Ex. Computer Science, Education

Minor- The secondary field of study. Not all majors require a minor field of study.

Semester- A 15 to 18 week grading period that begins in mid August and ends in mid December. Semester classes generally meet one hour three days per week.

Quarter- A 12 week grading period that begins in mid August and ends in late November. Classes meet one hour four days per week. August to November = Fall; December to March = Winter; March to May = Spring.

Credit- The numerical worth of a class. Ex. Semester System - English 101 - 3 credit hours. Under this system a student earns between 12 and 18 credit hours per semester. To receive a bachelor's degree a student will earn about 120 credit hours. Ex. Quarter system - English 101 - 4 credit hours. Under this system a student earns between 12 and 16 credit hours per quarter. To receive a bachelor's degree a student will earn about 192 quarter hours.

Advisement- The process of selecting the courses for the upcoming term. Students generally are required to meet with an assigned advisor to discuss their schedule. Incoming freshmen will do this during the summer.

Registration- The process of paying for tuition and other fees for the upcoming term.

CLEP and AP- These two tests can be taken by certain high school seniors to help them earn college credit.

Tuition- The cost of taking classes at college. Ex. $50.00 per credit hour = $150.00 for 3 hour courses.

Out of State Tuition- The common practice of charging non residents of a state additional tuition fees.

Room and Board- The cost of living and eating in an approved housing arrangement.

Financial Aid Office- The office on campus that deals with scholarships, loans, and grants for the students.

Pell Grant- A federal program that provides money to eligible students. Does not have to be paid back.

Loans- The process of borrowing money from a certain source to pay college costs. Many loans have low interest and give several years to repay. Ex. Stafford Loan Program

Scholarships- Money awarded on a competitive basis by a particular group. Ex. Elks, Rotary

College Work Study- A financial aid program that requires a student to work on campus for 2 or 3 hours per day for a certain wage.