Loyola University Chicago

Achieving College Excellence

Student Academic Services

College Terms Explained

In an attempt to help our students and their parents become more familiar with the words and phrases used in college, ACE created the following definitions of common college terms.  These words are organized by common themes, and within each section, are listed in alphabetical order: 

Please note, words that are italicized apply to students enrolled at Loyola University Chicago.  

We have done our best to accurately, fully, and briefly explain these terms, but because definitions and policies evolve over time, this list should not be considered your only resource.  These are meant to be a beginning resource for students and parents to learn more.  

 

 

Admission and Transition to College

Accredited - Accreditation is a process where schools are reviewed to ensure they provide a strong education; schools that are not accredited often are not as good and cannot provide federal and state financial aid. Most well-known, prestigious colleges are accredited.  Accreditation is typically done at a regional level.  In the Midwest, the accrediting regional agency is called the Higher Learning Commission.  If a school is not accredited, you cannot transfer courses taken there to another accredited school to continue your degree (associate's degree to bachelor's or bachelor's to another bachelor's program) or continue into an advanced degree (bachelor's degree to master's).  The U.S. Department of Education provides information about which colleges are and are not accredited. http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/  A few companies that do thorough background checks won't hire someone who graduated from an unaccredited schools; for example, Chicago Police Department won't hire job applicants with nationally accredited degrees (such as from Westwood College, a for-profit college), because they want regionally accredited degrees.

ACT and SAT - These letters are acronyms for the American College Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Both tests are designed to measure a student’s level of knowledge in basic areas such as math, science, English and social studies. Colleges may require the results of either the ACT or SAT before granting admission. Often, these tests are used to predict a student’s college GPA.

Application/Acceptance/Admission - Application is the process by which a prospective student submits the required forms and credentials to his/her chosen college. Application criteria may include one or more of the following: previous academic records, test scores, interviews, recommendations, personal statement, and other information provided by the applicant. Acceptance, also referred to as Admission, is the status granted to an applicant who meets the entrance requirements of the institution. It must be noted that there is a wide variation nationwide in the Application/Acceptance/Admission policies of higher education institutions. Check the college catalog for specific requirements of the schools you are considering.

Clery Act-  The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act is a federal law that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.  Most colleges have this information available on their website if you search for “Clery Act."

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is a federal law that applies to all education records, and in the college setting, broadly means that the student who is enrolled is the primary person interacting with the university, so all records about their time as a student are their private information and can only be shared with whomever they give the university permission to share records with.  This often comes up if parents want to know information about a student’s financial aid or grades.  Students can sign a release giving their parents access to their records.  At Loyola University Chicago, that is done through LOCUS.

Graduation Rate – How many students graduate from college in a specified amount of time.  Most 4-year schools track how many students graduate in 6 years. Most 2-year schools track how many students graduate in 4 years.  Graduation rates can give a sense of how many students either transfer out of a university after they enroll their first/freshman year or drop out of college altogether.  All colleges must report their graduation rate to the federal government, and you can look up to compare them online at the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator .

Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) - A statewide transfer agreement, which is transferable among more than 100 participating colleges or universities in Illinois. The goal is to ensure that students can obtain maximum course credit if they transfer from a community (2-year) college to a four-year college.

Matriculated - To apply, be accepted, and enroll in a degree-granting program at a college or university.

Non-resident - A student who isn’t an official resident of the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities is less expensive for in-state residents.

Orientation - A one to two-day program over the summer for students to learn how to navigate the many resources and services in place to assist them with their academic careers, meet with an academic advisor, and register for classes.  Students also learn the values and traditions that will enrich their Loyola Experience.  At some colleges, parents also have an orientation to learn about their student's future academic and developmental growth.

Persistence - How many students return to a college or university from one year to the next.  Persistence rate is often related to graduation rate.  FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid – so from the federal government) has some helpful information: https://fafsa.ed.gov/help/fotw91n.htm

Retention – How many students return to a college or university for their second year after they finish their first/freshman year.  Retention rate is often related to graduation rate.  All colleges must report their retention rate to the federal government, and you can look up to compare them online at the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/.  For further information, the Center for the Study of College Student Retention provides details about different aspects of retention here: http://www.cscsr.org/retention_issues_definitions.htm

Transfer of Credits - Some students attend more than one institution during their college career. When they move or transfer from one college to another, they also transfer accumulated credit hours from the former institution to the new one. The new institution determines which courses will apply toward graduation requirements.

TRIO - Federal TRiO Programs are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRiO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.  TRIO Programs are found at junior high schools, high schools, and colleges nationwide.

 

 

Types of Degrees and Types of Colleges

Associate's Degree - The Associate Degree is granted upon completion of a program of at least two, but less than four years of college work at a community college. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are conferred upon students who successfully complete programs designed for transfer to a senior college. The Associate Degree requires completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity courses or military science courses, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (a "C" average).

Baccalaureate / Bachelor's Degree - This is the undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires that a significant portion of the student's studies be dedicated to the arts - literature, language, music, etc. The Bachelor of Science degree requires that a significant portion of the studies be in the sciences - chemistry, biology, business, math, etc.  So if you are looking to go to medical school, for example, getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is one path that you may want to take. The minimum credit hour requirement for a Bachelor's Degree is 120 hours.  Most colleges also require students to complete a Core Curriculum (see Core Curriculum and/or General Education).

Certificate Programs - Certificate programs are designed to provide specific job skills. Certificate programs require a minimum of 30 credit hours of vocational course work and generally do not require any general education course work (communication, humanities, social science, natural science, etc.)  Certificate Programs can be found at both two-year and four-year colleges.

Degree Requirements - Those requirements prescribed by institutions for completion of a program of study are generally termed degree requirements. Requirements may include a minimum number of hours, required GPA, prerequisite and elective courses within the specified major, and/or minor areas of study.

Degrees - Degrees are rewards for the successful completion of a prescribed program of study. There are three basic types of degrees:  Associate - obtainable at a two-year community or junior college, Baccalaureate or Bachelor’s - offered by four-year colleges and universities, and Graduate - Obtained after the bachelor’s degree, i.e., Masters or Doctorate.

Doctorate - Highest academic degree. You may hear this often referred to as a terminal degree. Awarded after a bachelor’s degree.  A Master’s degree can be obtained while a student is completing a Doctorate.

For-Profit Colleges - For-profit colleges are run by companies that operate under the demands of investors and stockholders. These institutions are privately run and exist, at least in part, to earn money for their owners. Nevertheless, for-profit colleges can receive up to 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid.  Investigations by the federal government, media, and States Attorneys General ​have revealed countless instances of unscrupulous for-profit colleges (particularly those that are run by large, publicly-traded companies), engaging in deceptive, aggressive and manipulative tactics to enroll as many students as possible, without regard for their potential for success or ability to afford tuition, in an effort to maximize profits.  For more information, please refer to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s webpage.

Jesuit College - One of the 28 colleges or universities (in the U.S.) started by the Society of Jesus, a congregation of the Catholic Church.  Jesuit colleges share the same values of Ignatian Spirituality, including reflection, service that promotes justice, and a commitment to excellence/magis.

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.

Master’s degree - A degree awarded to graduate students. The awarding of a master’s degree requires at least one year of study (and often more, depending on the field) after a student earns a bachelor’s degree.

Open-Door Institution - Open-door institutions are usually public two-year junior/community colleges. The term open-door refers to an admission policy that states that anyone who is 18 years of age or older, whether or not a high school graduate, can be admitted to that college.

Private university - A university that is privately-funded. Tuition for a private college or university (before scholarships and grants) is the same for all students.  Private, non-profit colleges and universities receive funding primarily from student tuition and endowments. These institutions function as non-profit organizations that usually follow the leadership of a board of trustees. Private colleges and universities may receive some governmental support in the form of tax breaks and student loans, but operating mostly on private support allows them to develop their own institutional plan.

Private/Public Institutions - Private and public institutions differ primarily in terms of their source of financial support. Public institutions receive funding from the state or other governmental entities and are administered by public boards. Private institutions rely on income from private donations, or from religious or other organizations and student tuition. Private institutions are governed by a board of trustees.

Public university - A university that is funded by the government. Public colleges and universities are less expensive for residents of the state where they are located.  Public colleges and universities receive funding from tuition and endowments, but the larger part of their funding comes from state or local taxes. Most public postsecondary schools are state-run, which lowers the tuition for in-state students.
University - A university is composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional colleges and offers degrees in each.

University – Generally, a larger institution of higher education with multiple colleges within it. Universities typically offer multiple types of degrees, such as Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees. 

 

 

Academic Terms

Academic Appeal - Most colleges have a policy that a student must maintain a certain GPA (often 2.0 or 2.5) or else they will be placed on Academic Probation, meaning notification that they need to raise their grade or given a Dismissal for Poor Scholarship, meaning they can not enroll at the college any more.  Depending on the exact college and exact GPA, a student may be told that if they enroll at another accredited college for a year and maintain a strong GPA at that school, they can return to their first college.  If a student receives notification of one of these decisions, at some schools, such as Loyola University Chicago, they can appeal the decision; order to appeal, they must attend two full-time consecutive semesters at another accredited institution and earn a 3.0 GPA each semester.  They must then complete a form and write a letter explaining what led to their low GPA and what they will do differently in the future to raise their GPA at LUC. There is often a deadline that the appeal must be submitted by a certain date.

Academic Probation - All colleges require students to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in school. Any student not maintaining satisfactory progress toward his/her educational objectives will be placed on probation for a semester.  If a student does not improve their GPA about the minimum requirement while they are on probation, they may be asked to leave the college.  At many colleges within Loyola, the GPA requirement is either 2.0 or 2.5, but it is important that a student ask their particular college.

Academic Suspension - A student on Academic Probation may be placed on Academic Suspension if he/she fails to maintain or achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required. A student placed on suspension will be dismissed from the college for a specified time period - usually one or two semesters. Specific requirements may be placed on the student’s re-entry into college, such as maintaining a minimum GPA while enrolled full-time at another college for a semester or two.  See also Academic Appeal.

Academic year - The school year that begins with autumn classes. The academic year at most US colleges and universities starts in August or September.

Advanced Standing Credit - These are credit hours that an institution accepts toward a degree from courses that the student has earned elsewhere. Such credit may be given for work done at another higher education institution, by examination or "testing out," or by military service.

Appeal - if a process has led to a decision that a student is unhappy with, there sometimes is an opportunity to ask that the decision be reviewed, in the hopes that a different decision will be made.  On a college campus, this may apply if a student is found responsible for violating a college policy or if a student thinks they were treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member, such as if they think their grade is not as high as it should be.  At Loyola University Chicago, two relevant types of appeal are the Academic Appeal and Scholarship Appeal, both are defined separately in this document.

Audit - A student who does not want to receive credit in a course but is interested in the material covered in the course may, with approval of the instructor, audit the course as a "visitor" to the course. A student who audits a course usually cannot ask or petition the institution at a later date to obtain college credit for the audited course.

Catalog - College catalogs provide all types of information parents and students need to know about a school. It lists, for example: the institution's history and philosophy, policies and procedures, its accreditation status, courses of study, degrees and certificates offered, physical facilities, admission and enrollment procedures, financial aid, student life activities, etc.  Many colleges are no longer printing a hard copy of the catalog and moving the information onto their college’s website.

Concurrent Enrollment - A student can enroll and attend two educational institutions at the same time provided that certain criteria are met. For example: In Oklahoma, a high school senior can concurrently enroll in high school and in college provided he/she meets established criteria. A college student can concurrently enroll at two higher education institutions provided that certain criteria are met. Permission for concurrent enrollments must be made in advance, especially if a student wants courses taken at one college to count for credit at their primary college.  Colleges often will not allow concurrent enrollment in a class at another university if their college offers that same class, and often will not accept credit unless the concurrent enrollment was approved in advance.  Loyola University Chicago has some strict policies around now allowing concurrent enrollment.  Students wondering about this should check with their academic advisor first.

Core Curriculum - A series of classes required of all undergraduates regardless of the academic majors students choose.  Core Curriculum is often representative of the values at the university. Thus, at Loyola, the core includes an emphasis on liberal arts and includes 5 required courses between theology, philosophy, and ethics. http://www.luc.edu/core/ See also General Education.

Course Number - The number your college or university uses to classify a course. You usually need this number in order to register for a class.  At many colleges, there is also a section number, when a college offers the same course, but at different days/times.  Many common introductory courses will have multiple sections.

Course - In high school, you might just call this a class. The course is the most basic unit of the academic experience at a post-secondary school. It covers a particular topic—e.g., “The History of Central Africa” or “Cellular Metabolism”—and usually involves written assignments or tests to ensure that you’ve become proficient in the subject area.

Credit or Credit Hours - Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. To earn one credit hour, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 50 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks). Classes are offered in 1 - 5 credit hour increments, and sometimes larger amounts.

Curriculum - A curriculum is composed of those classes prescribed or outlined by an institution for completion of a program of study leading to a degree or certificate.

Drop and Add - Students are generally permitted to drop courses from their class schedules and/or add other courses. Colleges allow varying lengths of time for students to add and drop classes, often just the first week or two of the semester. The college catalog or class schedule should note the correct procedures.  Students usually need written approval from designated college officials to initiate dropping or adding a class.  At Loyola University Chicago, this date is usually a week after the first day of class.

Elective - A class you can take that is not specifically required by your major or minor.
Enrollment – see Registration.

Enrollment – Can refer to either the total number of students attending a particular college/university.  Can also refer to a specific student and if they are registered to take a specific class.

Final Exams (Finals) - These exams are usually given during the last week of classes each semester. The type of final administered in a course is left to the discretion of the instructor. Final exams are given on specified dates that may be different than the regular class time, and are usually listed in each semester’s class schedule.

Full-time Enrollment/Part-Time Enrollment - A full-time student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester (full-time status for a summer term may require fewer credit hours). A part-time student is enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester.  Since it requires 120 credit hours to complete a bachelor’s degree, most students enroll in 15 credit hours each semester in order to graduate in 4 years. At LUC, students are only eligible for institutional scholarships (Loyola Award, Damen Award, Rambler Award, etc.) if they are full-time.

General education (or Core Curriculum) classes - Classes that give students basic knowledge of a variety of topics. Students often must take general education classes in order to graduate. This set of classes includes different courses and is called by different names at various colleges and universities.

Grade Point Average - The average of all of the course grades you have received, on a four-point scale.(Example: A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0, F=0.0 or See Letter Grades/Grade Point Averages)

Honor Roll - Students are placed on honor rolls for GPAs above certain specified levels. Criteria for President’s, Dean’s, or other honor rolls vary at different institutions. In most cases, students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible.

Humanities Courses - Humanities courses are classes covering subjects such as literature, philosophy, and the fine arts. Most undergraduate degrees require a certain number of humanities credit hours, as outlined in the General Education or Core Curriculum.

Lecture/Laboratory/Discussion Classes - In lecture classes, students attend class on a regular basis and the instructor lectures on class material. Laboratory classes require students to perform certain functions in controlled situations that help them test and understand what is being taught in the lecture. Discussion classes offer students the opportunity to talk about material being taught, ask questions, and discuss material with their classmates. Discussion classes are often taught by Masters or Doctoral students, and are becoming more common on college campuses.

Letter Grades/Grade Point Averages (GPA) - Most colleges use both letter grades and GPAs in determining students’ grades. Grades at most colleges are figured using the following method: A’s are worth 4 points; B’s are worth 3 points; C’s are worth 2 points; D’s are worth 1 point; F’s are worth 0 points. To figure a GPA, simply multiply the number of hours a course is worth by the number of points for the letter grade, then add up the totals for each course and divide by the number of credit hours. The result is the grade point average.

Major - A major is composed of those classes required by an institution for completion of a program of study leading to a degree or certificate.

Major/Minor - A major is a student’s chosen field of study. It usually requires the successful completion of a specified number of credit hours. A minor is designated as a specific number of credit hours, and often requiring specific courses, in a secondary field of study.

Mid-Term Exams (Midterms) - During the middle of each semester, instructors may give mid-term exams that test students on the material.  A faculty member can have 2-3 midterms per semester.  They will be listed on the course syllabus.

Minor - Your secondary area of study. Fewer classes are required for a college minor than for a major. Colleges and universities usually don’t require students to have a minor. Many students’ minors are a specialization of their major field. For example, students who want to become a science reporter might major in journalism and minor in biology.

Non-Credit Courses - These are classes or courses that do not meet the requirements for a certificate of a degree at a given institution.  Non-credit courses may serve one of several purposes: to explore new fields of study, increase proficiency in a particular profession, develop potential or enrich life experiences through cultural and/or recreational studies.

Office Hours - Time set aside by professors or teaching assistants for students to visit their office and ask questions or discuss the course they teach. Your professor or teaching assistant will tell you at the beginning of the term when and where office hours will be every week.

Online classes - Courses you take by computer instead of in a traditional classroom.

Pass/Fail Courses - Pass/fail courses do not earn letter grades or grade points for students. If a student passes a pass/fail course, he/she receives a "P" (pass) or "S" (satisfactory) on the transcript and the credit hours. If the student does not pass the course, they will receive an "F" (fail) or a "U" (unsatisfactory) on the transcript and no credit hours. The evaluation for the pass/fail course is not figured into the student’s GPA.

Petition - A petition is both the process and the form a student fills out to request consideration of special circumstances. For example, if a student is denied admission, they may petition for admission based on extenuating circumstances.  Also, if a student loses a financial aid loan because they did not maintain a minimum GPA requirement, at some schools, they may petition to have the loan re-instated.  See also, Appeal.

Practicum – A course, usually for graduate level students or students nearing completion of their bachelor’s (4-year) college degree, in which a student gets supervised practical application of the material they learned previously.  Practicums are especially common in the fields of education and social work.

Prerequisite Courses - A prerequisite course is a course taken in preparation for another course. For example, Accounting 1 is a prerequisite for Accounting 2. Prerequisites exist to ensure that all students enrolled in a course have the background information needed to understand the course material.

Quarter - Type of academic term. A school with this system generally will have a fall quarter, winter quarter and spring quarter (each about 10 weeks long), along with a summer term. (See also: “Semester”)

Registration - This is the procedure by which students choose classes for the upcoming semester. It also includes the assessment and collection of fees.  Students may be barred from registration if they have a balance on their student account.

Schedule of Classes - With the help of academic advisors and/or faculty members, students make up their own individual class schedules for each semester they are enrolled. Courses are designated in the Class Schedule by course department, course number, time and days the course meets, the room number and building name, and the instructor’s name. A class schedule is also simply a list of classes a student is taking, which includes course name and number, time and location of the class, and possibly the instructor.

School Year - A period of time, generally not less than eight months, in which a full-time student would normally be expected to complete the equivalent of two semesters, two trimesters, three quarters, or 900 clock hours.

Semester - Type of academic term. A school with this system generally will have a fall semester and a spring semester (each about 15 weeks long), along with a summer term. (See also: “Quarter”)

Student Identification Card (I.D.) - A student ID is usually required in college. It is similar to a driver’s license and generally includes a photograph of the student, a student number (ID number), the student’s name, the name of the college and possibly the semester enrolled.  The card is often required for admittance to functions sponsored by the college or for identification when cashing checks or for other purposes, and to receive student discounts.

Supplemental Instruction – An academic support model that uses peer-assisted and peer-led study sessions to help students in a class better learn and better understand the knowledge, leading to student success.  Usually supplemental instruction is focused on what are often considered more difficult classes.  At Loyola University Chicago, the Loyola Learning Commons coordinates the supplemental instruction sessions.

Support Services - Free services offered to students to assist with college success.  These include academic resources, counseling and advising, disability services, library services, tutoring, and career planning.  Participating in student activities and student employment is proven to increase your chances of college success.

Syllabus - An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the professor or instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to that course. Some are quite lengthy.

Term - The length of time that you take a college class. (See also: “Quarter” and “Semester”)

Textbooks - Books required of students enrolled in college classes. Professors notify students which books they must purchase (and sometimes additional, optional textbooks) at the beginning of each semester/class.  Students can purchase new or used textbooks, or rent textbooks. Libraries often will have a copy of the textbook available in their reserves (cannot be checked out but can be read in the library) and professors sometimes have extra copies of the textbook that they can loan to students who can't afford them otherwise.

Transcript - The transcript is a permanent academic record of a student at college. It may show courses taken, grades received, academic status and honors received. Transcripts are not released by the college if the student owes any money to the college.

Withdrawal - Students may withdraw from courses during a semester, but there are established procedures and deadlines for doing so. The college catalog and/or Class Schedule generally specifies the procedures. Written approval from a university official often must be secured, and some fees might be charged.  Depending when in the term the course is dropped, it may show on your permanent transcript as a "W" rather than the letter grade.  Many "W"'s on a transcript doesn't look good if you apply to graduate school. If a student withdraws from enough courses that they change from being enrolled full-time to part-time, that may impact their financial aid award.

 

 

Billing and Financial Aid Terms

Comprehensive Student Fee - A fee paid by all students in order to provide quality services to everyone. The fee varies by college and is often comprised of an activities fee, alumni fee, athletics fee, college fee, educational technology fee, health fee, and a transportation fee.  At Loyola University Chicago, this is called the Student Development Fee, which covers costs such as the Wellness Center, Halas membership, and 8-ride. 

Consolidation - Combining all federal student loans under one repayment plan after a student finishes school.  A consolidation loan is made to a student when an eligible lender pays off existing student loans and creates one new loan. Students can combine certain eligible federal existing student loans into one loan and increase their repayment time from 10 to 30 years depending on the balance.

Cost of Attendance (also known as Cost of Education) - The student's cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees, but also the student's living expenses while attending college. The college, within guidelines established by federal regulations, estimates the cost of attendance. The cost of attendance is compared to the student's expected family contribution to determine the student's need for aid.

Default - Failure to repay a loan in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. This may also result from failure to submit requests for deferment or cancellation on time. If one defaults, the school, organization that holds the loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. This may affect the student's credit rating for a long time.

Disbursement - The process by which financial aid funds are made available to students for use in meeting educational and related living expenses.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - The amount the FAFSA determines that a student's family is able to contribute towards the cost of attendance, for the purpose of awarding financial aid to meet student need. The EFC is printed on the front of the Student Aid Report.

FAFSA -Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The almost universal application for financial aid in the U.S., including loans, grants, college work-study and other federal and state programs. It is often required before a student can be considered for college scholarships, also. www.fafsa.ed.gov

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loans - Parents borrow to help pay for their child's education. This loan is made to the parent through Federal Student Aid, an office of the Department of Education at studentloans.gov.  Parents may borrow up to the eligible amount to meet the cost of attendance. The interest rate is reviewed and recalculated each July.

Federal Pell Grant - An award (free money) to help undergraduates pay for their education after high school.  Amounts can change yearly. For the 2015–16 award year (July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016), the maximum award is $5,775. The amount you get, though, will depend on your financial need, your cost of attendance, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Federal Perkins Loan - A low-interest loan to help students pay for their education. These loans are for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need, as determined by the school. For undergraduate students, priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Federal Perkins Loans are made through a college's financial aid office.

Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) - Low-interest loans that are made to students attending college at least half-time. Loans are made through Federal Student Aid, an office of the Department of Education at studentloans.gov. The federal government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while the student is in college, but interest accrues on the unsubsidized loan while the student is in school. The student can pay that interest as it accrues or it can be added to the loan balance when it goes into repayment. There are varied repayment and forgiveness programs that can be reviewed at studentloans.gov.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) - One of the campus-based programs for undergraduate students of exceptional financial need who have not completed their first baccalaureate degree. Priority for FSEOG awards must be given to Pell Grant recipients.

Federal Work-Study - Provides part-time employment to students attending institutions of higher education who need the earnings to help pay the cost of their postsecondary education. FWS gives students an opportunity to earn money to help pay educational expenses, but students must apply for, and obtain a job that is a FWS position. At Loyola, students receive a bi-weekly paycheck for their earnings from that job.

Fees - Fees are additional charges not included in the tuition. Fees may be charged to cover the cost of materials and equipment needed in certain courses, and they may be assessed for student events, programs, and publications.  Each school has slightly different fees.  At Loyola University Chicago, the fees include the Student Development Fee, Technology Fee, Lab Fees, among others.

Financial Aid Award - Aid for paying college expenses is made available from grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment from federal, state, institutional, and private sources. Financial aid from these programs may be combined in an "award package" to meet or cover the cost of education. The types and amounts of aid awarded are based upon financial need, available funds, student classification, academic performance, and sometimes the timeliness of application.

Financial Aid Package - The combination of financial aid funds (loans, grants, scholarships, and employment) awarded to an individual student by a college.

Financial Need – In determining how much financial aid to give, the financial need is the cost of attendance of a college minus the amount of the family’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution)

Forbearance - A temporary halting of repayment of loans, allowing an extension of time for making loan payments, or accepting smaller loan payments than were previously scheduled due to extenuating circumstances.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – See FAFSA.

Grace Period - The period of time that begins when a loan recipient ceases to be enrolled at least half-time and ends when the repayment period starts. Loan principal need not be paid and interest does not accrue during this period.

Grant - A form of financial aid you do not have to repay.

I-Plan – An installment option at Loyola University Chicago that allows students to spread their educational costs over a series of monthly payments, rather than one payment at the beginning of each semester.  Students can set this up in LOCUS, and it is administered by the Office of the Bursar.  See “monthly payment plan.”

I-Plan Reconciliation – Twice each year (once in the fall, and once in the spring), the Office of the Bursar will start the reconciliation process where they review each student’s payment plan to determine any adjustments that are needed to cover any new charges, a change in enrollment or additional financial aid.  For questions about the I-Plan reconciliation changes, the student should contact the Office of the Bursar.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool – When completing your FAFSA, this tool allows students who have already filed their federal income tax forms with the IRS to prefill the answers to some of the questions on the FAFSA.  If this is available to you, it is strongly encouraged to ensure accuracy.

Lab Fees – For students enrolled in laboratory classes, there are additional fees to cover the costs of the equipment and materials used in the lab.  The Lab Fee amounts at Loyola University Chicago are found on the Office of the Bursar’s web page and can change from year to year. http://luc.edu/bursar/index.shtml

Lender - The organization or company that lends money for a loan.  The lender may be the federal government (Stafford and PLUS loans) or another financial institution (alternative loans).  Students should always be aware of who the current lender is on their loans.

Loan - A form of financial aid that you must repay.  See also Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Stafford Loan.

Loan Consolidation - See Consolidation.

Loan Entrance Counseling - A meeting whereby the financial aid counselor advises the student of his/her rights and responsibilities.  At Loyola University Chicago, this entire process is completed online prior to the student receiving the loan money.

Loan Exit Counseling - A meeting whereby the financial aid counselor provides loan repayment information to the student before he/she enters repayment. At Loyola University Chicago, this entire process is completed online.

Master Promissory Note - A legal document that the borrower signs to get a loan, in which the borrower promises to repay the loan, with interest, in specified installments. The Master Promissory Note will also include any information about the grace period, deferment or cancellation provisions, and the student's rights and responsibilities with respect to the loan.

Monthly Payment Plan (MPP) – At some universities, monthly payment is available which allows the cost of education to be spread over a period of up to four payments per semester. There is often a participation fee to cover administrative expenses but no interest or finance charges.  At Loyola University Chicago, see iPlan.

National Student Clearinghouse – A resource for college students, graduate students, students who are taking a break from college, who have graduated and started working, or parents to find out information about the students’ federal financial aid, such as if they requested to defer payment, verifying degrees, providing details about their loans.  Exactly what services they provide depends on if you are currently enrolled or not, but it is all available at http://www.mystudentcenter.org/

Origination Fee - A fee charged by the federal government deducted from the principal that serves as an insurance against loan default.

Overaward - Generally any amount of campus-based, federal or state aid that exceeds the student's financial need.

Pell Grant - See: "Federal Pell Grant".

Perkins Loan – See: “Federal Perkins Loan”.

PLUS Loan – See: “Federal PLUS Loan”.

Resident - A student who lives in and meets the residency requirements for the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities often is more expensive for non-residents.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) - The progress required of a financial aid recipient according to the school's approved published policy.  Students must pass (no F and no W) a minimum of 67% of their credit hours in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress and maintain a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  Satisfactory Academic Progress standards apply to both institutional and federal aid a student might receive in their financial aid package. Not meeting SAP can prevent students from receiving aid in the following semesters/years.

Scholarship - A form of financial assistance which does not require repayment. Scholarships may be awarded upon acceptance to an institution to a student who demonstrated distinction in high school in academic performance, the arts, or athletics.  Scholarships are also available to continuing students (and some for graduate school) based on a student’s identity, academic discipline, or institutional availability.  For example, scholarships for female students enrolled in an engineering program.  Often, scholarships require an application essay, but are worth the time to write that since they can be large amounts of free money.

Scholarship Appeal - Many scholarships (especially those given out by a college) have a requirement that a student maintain a certain GPA in order to continue to receive the scholarship in future years.  If a student has a GPA below the required level, at Loyola University Chicago, they can complete a scholarship appeal for the scholarships granted by the university, to try to have the scholarship reinstated.  In the appeal, the student must complete a form and write a letter explaining what led to their low GPA and what they will do differently in the future to raise their GPA. There is often a deadline that the appeal must be submitted by a certain date.

Scholarship Probation - Many scholarships (especially those given out by a college) have a requirement that a student maintain a certain GPA in order to continue to receive the scholarship in future years.  If a student has a GPA that is just below the required level, at Loyola University Chicago, they can be placed on scholarship probation, which is notification that the student needs to raise their GPA the next semester, or they will lose their scholarship.

SEOG - Assists in paying the difference between TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) and tuition at state-operated colleges for students whose families are eligible to receive a maximum TAP award and are subject to the $200 annual reduction, commonly referred to as the "Upper Cut."  See also Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

Servicer - A company hired by the lender (often the federal government, your college, or a bank) to perform account services for its student loans. These services may include application and repayment processing, customer information, and accounting.  The servicer of the loan can change over time as the student has borrowed and re-pays the money.

Stafford Loan Program - See: "Federal Stafford Loan Program".

Student Aid Report (SAR) - The federal "output document" printed by a FAFSA processor and mailed to the student. The SAR contains the family's financial and other information as reported by the student on the financial aid application. The student can make corrections/update information on the SAR and submit it to the federal processor. The student's eligibility for aid is indicated by the estimated family contribution printed on the front of the SAR. Schools receive an electronic version of the SAR from the FAFSA processor.

Student Development Fee – See comprehensive student fee.

Student Health Insurance– Many colleges require students to either purchase health insurance through the college, or demonstrate proof that they have health insurance from another source, such as through a parent’s employer.

Technology Fee - The Technology Fee at Loyola University Chicago, like many colleges, was implemented to fund and refresh student technology, improve student life and learning, and classroom related programs.  This includes computer hardware and software, networking and supporting computer telecommunications infrastructure related to delivering student services, and may also include student staff and support working on or with the above mentioned.

Tuition - Tuition is the amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment. Tuition does not include the cost of books, fees, or room and board. Tuition charges vary from college to college and are dependent on such factors as resident or out-of-state status, level of classes enrolled in (lower, upper or graduate division), and whether the institution is publicly or privately financed. Many colleges also raise tuition slightly each year.

Verification for FAFSA – A part of the process that the U.S. Department of Education uses to ensure accuracy of the information students report on the FAFSA. At all colleges that award Federal Financial Aid, students may be selected for FAFSA Verification.  If you are selected, your financial aid office will tell you what additional items they need you to submit, such as a tax return transcript, a verification worksheet.  At Loyola University Chicago, you will find out if you have been selected for verification and if so, what steps you need to complete next in your LOCUS to-do list.

Work-Study – See Federal Work Study

 

 

Titles of People around Campus

Academic Advisor/Counselor - This person will help student’s select the correct courses, review the course requirements in the field they have selected to pursue, and help with any academic problems the student may encounter. At some institutions, academic advisement is conducted by faculty as part of their job duties. Other institutions may designate specific staff as academic counselors.  At Loyola University Chicago, students have an advisor from First and Second Year Advising for the first two years enrolled, and when they become a junior (3rd-year) student, their advisor is from their particular college, such as the College of Arts and Sciences.  Some disciplines also identify a faculty advisor from the department of the student’s intended major.  Students at Loyola University Chicago who start with the ACE program from the beginning of their time at LUC, have a counselor from ACE instead of an academic advisor from First and Second Year Advising; starting their junior year, in addition to their ACE counselor, they will then also have an advisor from their particular college.

Advisor - See Academic Advisor/Counselor.

Chancellor – A person who is a leader of a college or university, usually either the executive or ceremonial head of the university or of a university campus. Depending on the exact college, the chancellor may be the head of one particular university location (this is how the University of Illinois works), or for state systems, the chancellor may be the head of multiple locations.

Commuter - A commuter is a student who lives off-campus and drives to class, or commutes.  Commuters sometimes live at home with their families, and sometimes live in an apartment near campus with friends.  Many colleges require students to live on-campus their first two years, unless they are able to prove that they live with their family close to campus and can commute.

Dean – A person with significant authority over a specific academic unit or area.  Examples include a Dean of Students (who can oversee all departments related to student affairs, such as housing and student activities) or a Dean of Faculty (who can oversee all the faculty at a college).

Faculty - The faculty is composed of persons who teach classes for colleges. Some colleges differentiate between faculty and instructors. Instructors are hired to teach a specific class or classes, while faculty members have contracts with the college that require additional duties beyond teaching. Faculty members are also referred to as professors.  Faculty often have office hours, where students can come ask questions about their courses, the faculty member’s area of study, or general advice on graduate school.

First-Generation College Student - A student whose parent did not graduate with a bachelor's degree from a four-year college.  Students whose parents attended, but never graduated from, a 4-year college would be first-generation college-students.  Students whose parents graduated from a community college with an Associate's Degree after 2 years count as first-generation college-students.

Freshman - First year college student, regardless of what gender they identify as.  Many colleges have moved towards referring to these students as “first-years” rather than freshmen.

Junior - Third-year college student.

Mentor – An experienced and trusted advisor, many colleges have different kinds of mentoring programs to help students get adjusted to the new college environment.  Peer mentors may be the same age, or only a year further in school, but because of their application and training, are knowledgeable about the resources on campus.  Mentoring programs are usually designed to help a specific group of students or to assist with a specific goal, such as learning how to do academic research.

Part-time student - A student who doesn’t enroll in enough credit hours to become a full-time student, as defined by your college or university. Part-time students often take only one or two classes at one time.  Being a part-time student can limit what types of financial aid you receive.

Provost- The chief academic officer at the University and often, the vice president in charge of the faculty.

Registrar - The registrar of an institution is responsible for the maintenance of all academic records and may include such duties as:  maintenance of class enrollments, providing statistical information on student enrollment, certification of athletic eligibility and student eligibility for honor rolls, certification of the eligibility of veterans, administering probation and retention policies and verification of the completion of degree requirements for graduation.

Senior - Fourth-year college student. You are a senior when you graduate from college.

Sophomore - Second-year college student.

Tutor - A tutor is a person, generally another student, who has completed and/or demonstrated proficiency in a course or subject, and is able to provide instruction to another student. Tutors usually help students better understand course material and make better grades.

Undergraduate - An undergraduate is a student who is pursuing either a one-, two-, or four-year degree.

 

 

Departments Around Campus and Experiences Outside the Classroom

8-Ride - At Loyola University Chicago, the 8-Ride is a program where rather than walking alone, in the evening and early morning hours, students can call and request a ride to locations such as their apartment, the convenience store, and campus.  There are limitations on the distance 8-Ride will take students, but it covers the neighborhoods nearby the lakeshore campus.

ABI - Alternative Break Immersion, a trip organized by the college during the breaks (spring break, January, and May) where students expand learning beyond the classroom, and involve a combination of direct service and cultural immersion in a host community. On ABI's, students and staff live simply, build community, deepen faith, and do justice, while sharing work and gaining new awareness from our interactions with diverse communities and one another.

ACE - The Achieving College Excellence program at Loyola University Chicago, a TRIO Student Support Services program that serves 140 students who identify as first-generation college students, having high financial need, or a documented disability.  The program is funded by a grant from the US Department of Education and the university.

Bookstore - All colleges have bookstores. It will generally stock all the books and other materials required in all the courses offered at the institution as well as providing basic sundries and clothing items.  Some bookstores offer the option to rent books.  Online websites also offer university books, sometimes cheaper than the on-campus bookstore, although students then need to consider shipping costs and delays in receiving the book after classes start.

Bursar- The Office of the Bursar is responsible for the billing, collecting and depositing of all money owed to and/or collected by the university.  The Bursar’s Office is often who student can contact about setting up a payment plan.

Business Office - The Business Office is responsible for all financial transactions of the institution. It may also be called the Bursar's Office on some campuses.

CAS - The College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, one of the largest colleges at the university.  Others include the Quinlan School of Business (QSOB), Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (SON), School of Education (SOE), School of Communication (SOC), and School of Social Work (SSW).

Co-Curricular Activities - These are non-classroom activities that contribute to a well-rounded education. They can include such activities as athletics, clubs, student government, recreational and social organizations and events.  Students are encouraged to get involved in a couple extra-curricular activities, as that shows employers that the student was able to be a team-worker and leader.

College - A College is an institution of higher education that grants degrees and certificates. The term is also used to designate the organizational units within a university such as the College of Education or the College of Arts and Sciences.

Department - A department is the basic organizational unit in a higher education institution, and is responsible for the academic functions in a field of study. It may also be used in the broader sense to indicate an administrative or service unit of an institution.  Examples include the Department of Biology or the Department of Financial Aid.

Division - A division could be several different things: an administrative unit of an institution, usually consisting of more than one department… a unit of an institution based on the year-level of students - i.e., lower and upper division… or a branch of the institution, instructional or not - i.e., the Division of Student Affairs.

E-Portfolio - Used at many colleges, including Loyola University Chicago, this is a tool that students create to engage in specific classes and their overall university experience, in which they demonstrate the material they have learned, reflect on what that means to them personally, and display both of those in an online format.

Extracurricular – See Co-Curricular Activities.

Fraternities/Sororities (also called the Greek System) - Fraternities (for men) and sororities (for women) are social organizations that are active in various activities. Through a process of mutual selection, called Rush (which takes place during a specified period of time), students may be offered the opportunity to "pledge" a certain fraternity of sorority. Not all colleges have these organizations.  Fraternities and Sororities can be based on social connection, shared identity, similar interests and/or majors.

FSYA - The office of First and Second Year Advising at Loyola University Chicago

FYE - At Loyola University Chicago, this is the office of First Year Experience, which puts on the summer orientation sessions, organizes the book selection for all incoming first-year students to read, and a variety of other programs to ensure incoming first-year students feel supported on campus.

Greek - See Fraternities and sororities.

IC - At Loyola University Chicago, the Information Commons is a building on campus attached to the library, with a variety of services, from private rooms students can reserve for studying, computers, digital equipment that student can check out, etc.

Internship - A temporary job, paid or unpaid, usually in the field of your major. You may be able to receive college credit for an internship.  Internship opportunities are usually posted at the college’s Career Development Center, and require an application, submitting a resume, and an interview.

Lake Shore Campus - The Loyola University Chicago campus location in the north end of Chicago at 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL.  This is the primary location for the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, and Institute of Environmental Sustainability.

Learning Commons - Previously called the Center for Tutoring and Academic Excellence, this is a student support office in Sullivan Center that provides supplemental instruction, information on improving study skills, and works to help students excel academically at Loyola University Chicago.  Much of the work is done in small groups.

LID – At Loyola University Chicago, the unique Loyola ID number issued to a student upon acceptance.  Usually starts with 0000-----.  Used instead of a social security number, the student should memorize this, as it is how many departments will look up information about a student, since sometimes two students can have the same name, but they will have different ID numbers.

LOCUS - At Loyola University Chicago, this is an online tool for students to complete business with the university, such as understanding their financial aid or registering for classes.  It stands for Loyola’s Online Connection to University Services.

LU Wolf - The mascot for Loyola University Chicago.  He was inspired by the coat-of-arms of St. Ignatius of Loyola, from whom Loyola derives its name, which depicts two wolves standing over a kettle.  Legend has it that St. Ignatius' family was so generous that they fed all their neighbors, including the wolves.

LUREC - At Loyola University Chicago, the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus is a separate part of the university that is in Woodstock, a town about fifty miles from the Lake Shore Campus, which students can attend retreats.  There is also a farm where students can get hands on experience in ecology and sustainable farming.

OIP - The Office of International Programs at Loyola University Chicago, which includes study abroad

Rambler - At Loyola University Chicago, the varsity sports teams are called the Loyola Ramblers.

Retreat - An overnight (sometimes multi-day) trip where students gather with staff who lead them through reflection activities to explore their identity, values, and life goals; retreats usually have a specific theme or focus.

SDMA - The office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Loyola University Chicago

SSWD - The office of Services for Students with Disabilities at Loyola University Chicago

STARS - At Loyola University Chicago in the SDMA Office, STARS (Students Together Are Reaching Success) is a peer mentorship and college success program that connects first-year students with successful upperclassmen for one-on-one and group mentoring. Students also have the opportunity to attend social & cultural events, participate in workshops on academic success, and be part of experiences to enhance their leadership skills.  Students who identify with either of the following backgrounds are especially encouraged to join STARS: First-generation college students (i.e., first in their family to attend college; neither parent has earned their college degree) and Students of color (i.e., African American/Black, Arab American, Asian American, Latino/a, Middle Eastern, Native American, Pacific Islander, or multiracial students).

Study Abroad – An opportunity for college students to go to another country for a semester, enroll in college courses in that country, get credit at their home college for those classes, and experience living overseas.  Most colleges have a formal study abroad office that will help students plan the details about what country to go to, what classes to take, how to figure out the financial aid, and make the most of their time abroad.  Depending on the specific program, students may live in an apartment overseas or may live in student housing overseas.

U-Pass - The CTA U-Pass offers all full time undergraduates and graduate students enrolled in participating programs at Loyola University Chicago, unlimited riding aboard CTA buses and trains. This allows students who live nearby to commute and to take advantage of everything Chicago has to offer.  This is paid for as part of the student fees.  Students are encouraged to read the U-Pass website (http://www.luc.edu/upass/index.shtml) for the full details about this program.  

UID – The unique University ID number issued to a student upon acceptance to a university.  Used instead of a social security number, the student should memorize this, as it is how many departments will look up information about a student, since sometimes two students can have the same name, but they will have different ID numbers.

Ventra Pass - See U-Pass.  This is a service at Loyola University Chicago, and some other colleges in the Chicago area.

Water Tower Campus - The Loyola University Chicago campus location downtown at 820 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.  This is the primary location for the School of Business, School of Communication, School of Social Work, and Arrupe College, among others.

 

 

Graduation and After Four-Year College

Alumni - People who have graduated from the institution.

Commencement – Another way of saying graduation, as this is the formal ceremony where degrees are conferred on (or awarded to) graduating students

Cover Letter - For most job postings, applicants are required to submit a letter that briefly summarizes the applicant’s relevant job experience, sills, and interested, with a focus on why the job applicant is well qualified for that particular job at that particular company.  Most colleges have a Career Development Center that will help students learn how to write a cover letter.

Cum Laude - A student who earns a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 will be graduated cum laude (with honors); of at least 3.70, magna cum laude (with high honors); of at least 3.90, summa cum laude (with highest honors). For the purpose of calculating the grade point average (GPA), averages are NOT rounded, i.e., 3.49 is not rounded to 3.50.

CV, or Curriculum Vitae - A C.V. is used in academic circles and medical careers as a "replacement" for a résumé and is far more comprehensive; the resume (a French word which literally means "summary") is used for most job recruitment in other fields. A C.V. elaborates on education, publications, and other achievements to a greater degree than a résumé.  In other countries, a C.V. is used more extensively than a resume for more fields, and is often much longer, so students looking to work abroad should learn more about the country they hope to move to.  Most colleges have a Career Development Center that will help students determine if they should have a C.V. or a resume, and help them create one.

Fellowship – A merit-based form of financial aid where a student applies for a specific purpose such as a study abroad project or graduate school, and if they win, is usually given the award money.  Fellowships can be extremely competitive to apply to, and many require a high GPA along with a strong personal statement in the application, but students can earn as much as $30,000.00 a year to study in graduate school.  At Loyola University Chicago, the Fellowship Office is available to help guide students through the Fellowship Application process.

Graduate Assistantship – A form of financial aid for graduate students.  Students should ask as they apply to graduate programs if there is a possibility of receiving a graduate assistantship, which gives them in-depth experience in their field (either assisting with research or teaching an intro-level class) and usually they are paid with a stipend, a pre-determined amount of money, rather than an hourly wage.  Often the stipend amount is intended to be large enough that the student does not need to have another job, and can focus instead on their studies.  The stipend earned is considered taxable income.

Graduation Honors - A student who earns a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 will be graduated cum laude (with honors); of at least 3.70, magna cum laude (with high honors); of at least 3.90, summa cum laude (with highest honors). For the purpose of calculating the grade point average (GPA), averages are NOT rounded, i.e., 3.49 is not rounded to 3.50.

GRE – The Graduate Record Examination is a test required by many graduate programs for admission.  There is a GRE General Test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills.  There are also Subject Tests that measure a student’s knowledge of a particular area, such as psychology, biochemistry, literature, math, and physics.  It costs $195 to take the GRE, although a fee waiver is available to some students.

LSAT – The Law School Admission Test is required by law schools in the U.S. and Canada.  The test takes a half-day and is designed to assess reading comprehension, logical, and verbal reasoning proficiencies.  The LSAT is a very difficult test that many students study extensively for to prepare.  It costs $170 to take the test, although a fee waiver is available to some students.

Magna Cum Laude - A student who earns a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 will be graduated cum laude (with honors); of at least 3.70, magna cum laude (with high honors); of at least 3.90, summa cum laude (with highest honors). For the purpose of calculating the grade point average (GPA), averages are NOT rounded, i.e., 3.49 is not rounded to 3.50.

MCAT -The Medical College Admission Test is required by medical schools in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.  The test is designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, written analysis and knowledge of scientific concepts and principles. The MCAT is a very difficult test that many students study extensively for, often taking a preparatory class just on how to prepare for the MCAT.  For students looking to go straight from the undergraduate (4-year) degree to medical school, they usually take the MCAT by the summer after their junior (3rd) year.  Students interested in medicine should speak with their college’s Pre-Health Committee or department their first year of college.  It costs $300 to take the MCAT, although a fee waiver is available to some students.

Résumé - A typical résumé contains a summary of relevant job experience and education. The résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes an application for employment, which a potential employer sees regarding the job seeker and is typically used to review applicants, often followed by an interview.  Most colleges have a Career Development Center that will help students prepare their resume, which for students who might not have extensive job experience can also include relevant volunteering or student involvement experiences, and sometimes relevant coursework.

Summa Cum Laude - A student who earns a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 will be graduated cum laude (with honors); of at least 3.70, magna cum laude (with high honors); of at least 3.90, summa cum laude (with highest honors). For the purpose of calculating the grade point average (GPA), averages are NOT rounded, i.e., 3.49 is not rounded to 3.50.