As a family member of a college student, you may find yourself navigating a new and unfamiliar world, especially if you are not familiar with the terminology and jargon used by colleges and universities. This glossary is designed to provide you with a comprehensive list of terms that will help you better understand the college and support your student throughout their college journey.
Academic Probation: A status assigned to students whose GPA falls below a certain threshold, indicating that they need to improve their academic performance in order to remain in good standing.
Admissions: The process by which students apply to and are accepted into a college or university.
Advising: The process by which students meet with academic advisors to plan their course schedules and discuss academic progress.
BCTC: Baruch Computing and Technology Center. BCTC provides technical support and manages the technology used across campus.
Blackboard: The resource for students’ online learning including their class information, announcements, and materials from their professors.
Bursar: The financial administrator that is responsible for billing of student tuition account.
Campus Life: The activities and services available to students outside of the classroom, such as clubs, organizations, and recreational facilities.
Convocation: is a traditional ceremonial event designed to inspire, connect, and induct first year students to the College.
Commencement: The graduation ceremony.
COA: Cost of Attendance. The total cost of attending a college or university, including tuition, fees, and living expenses.
Course Catalog: A publication that lists all of the courses offered with descriptions, prerequisites, and credits allocated.
Course Load: The number of classes a student is taking during a particular semester.
CUNYFirst: CUNY’s Fully Integrated Resources & Services Tool is the enterprise resource solution that allows CUNY students to manage their academic related activities.
Degree: An academic qualification conferred upon completion of a required course of study, indicating a level of academic achievement.
DegreeWorks: CUNY’s degree audit and advisement tool for students to keep track of their degree requirements and progress.
E-Permit: The system that allows CUNY students to take courses at other CUNY campuses without having to officially transfer and count towards their credit requirements.
EFC: Expected Family Contribution. The amount of money that a family is expected to contribute to their child’s college education, as determined by the FAFSA.
Elective: A course taken by choice from a list of options, that is not required for their major or minor, but counts towards credits for graduation.
Excelsior Scholarship: In combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a college tuition-free. The program covers tuition for eligible SUNY and CUNY students.
Faculty: The professors and other instructors who teach at college.
FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the form that students must fill out to apply for financial aid from the government.
Financial Aid: Money provided by the government, colleges, or private organizations to help students pay for college. This can include scholarships, grants, and loans.
General education requirements: A set of courses that are required for all students at a college to take, regardless of their major, in order to obtain a degree.
GPA: Grade Point Average. This is the average of a student’s grades, which is used to determine academic standing.
Graduation: The completion of a college program, typically marked by a ceremony in which degrees are awarded.
Handshake: A career service platform for college students to find jobs and internships, events, and connect with employers.
Internship: A work experience that allows students to gain practical skills and experience in their field of study.
Lecture: A class session in which the professor delivers an educational talk about the subject matter of the course.
Major: The subject area that a student chooses to specialize in. This is usually declared after the first or second year of college.
Midterm: Exam(s) that students take half-way into the semester term.
Minor: A secondary subject area that a student can study in addition to their major.
NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association. The organization that governs college sports in the United States.
Office Hours: The designated times when professors are available to meet with students outside of class.
Orientation: A program for new students to introduce them to the campus and its resources.
Prerequisite: Required course(s) that a student must complete before taking a more advanced course.
RA: Resident Assistant. A student who is employed to live in and help manage a residence hall.
Reading Days: Time off between the last day of classes and the beginning of finals for students to study for final exams.
Registrar: The office responsible for maintaining student records, including transcripts and academic schedules.
Residence Hall: A dormitory or other housing facility for students living on campus.
Starr Career Development Center: department that provides career-related services to Baruch College students and alumni, such as workshops, job search assistance, and career fairs.
Study Abroad: A program that allows students to study in another country for a semester, intersession, or summer.
Student Loans: Money borrowed by students to pay for college, which must be repaid with interest.
Syllabus: A document that outlines the objectives, expectations, and requirements for a course.
TA: Teaching Assistant. A graduate student who assists a professor with teaching and grading.
TAP: Tuition Assistance Program that helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State.
Transcript: A document that provides a record of a student’s academic performance including grades, credits, and degrees earned.
Tuition: The fee or charge for instruction at college and other services, normally charged by credits.
Work-study: A program that allows students to work part-time on campus or in the community in exchange for financial aid.