Glossary of Terms

A. A. – Associate in Arts: An under-graduate degree of at least 60 credits or more awarded upon successful completionof a program of study in liberal arts and sciences that prepares students to transfer to a baccalaureate institution.

A. S. – Associate in Science: An under-graduate degree of at least 60 credits awarded upon successful completion of aprogram of study in an applied subject area, such as business, computers, electronics, or health, which preparesstudents to enter the work force.

Accreditation: Accreditation is a voluntary process of higher education oversight that serves to assure the public of theinstitution’s quality and to promote continuous institutional improvement. In Massachusetts, the organization thatoversees the accreditation process is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. An institution that hasgone through the accreditation process is called an accredited institution.

Application: The formal way of notifying an institution that you want to become a student at the institution.

Articulation Agreements: A type of transfer agreement between two or more institutions for a particular academicprogram or major.

Bachelor’s degree (or Baccalaureate degree): An undergraduate academic degree awarded upon successful completionof a program of study of at least 120 credits.

College Scholarship Service (CSS) —CSS processes the PROFILE financial form that students may use to apply fornonfederal aid. This form is required by some private colleges and universities along with the FAFSA when seekingfinancial aid from these institutions. Participating colleges and universities indicate whether they require this form.Common Application— The Common Application is presently accepted by many colleges. Students complete theinformation on the standardized form and then submit it to any of the schools listed as accepting it. Some schools willrequest a supplementary form to be completed by the applicant. The Common Application is available online at:

Commencement: A graduation ceremony

Core Requirements: See General Education Courses.

Credit: The value given to a course. For example: ENG101 English Composition I is a 3 credit-hour course, which meansthat it meets for 3 hours each week for one semester.

Distribution Requirements: See General Education Courses.

Financial Aid: Grants, loans, assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, tuition waivers, tuition discounts, veteran'sbenefits, employer aid (tuition reimbursement) and other monies (other than from relatives/friends) provided tostudents to meet expenses.

GPA or Grade Point Average: The average overall grade for all courses taken for credit in a particular semester, year orinstitution. A cumulative GPA is the average of all grades for courses taken to date at one institution.

General Education Courses: Courses designed to introduce students to the fundamental knowledge, skills and valuesessential to the study of academic disciplines; in some instances any prerequisite or supporting course requirements forthe major can be taken and counted as general education requirements. Also referred to as Core Requirements or Distribution Requirements.

Graduation: The award of an academic degree or diploma

Liberal Arts: The academic areas of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Fine Arts, Literature,and the Humanities are combined under the broad collective term "Liberal Arts."

Native Student: A student whose initial college enrollment was at a given institution of higher education and who hasnot transferred to another institution since that initial enrollment.

Prerequisite: A course you must complete before taking a more advanced course

Registration: The process of enrolling in individual courses after completion of all required admission procedures.

Register: When you select, schedule, enroll in courses for the next semester, you register. By registering, you make anofficial commitment to take the courses you have selected.

Requirement: A course you must take in order to complete your major or degree.

Residency Requirement: The number of courses or credits (or percentage of the program) you must complete at aninstitution to graduate from that institution. This has nothing to do with living on campus. NOTE: This term has morethan one meaning. It can refer to the fact that a college may require a specific number of courses to be taken oncampus to receive a degree from the school. But the phrase can also mean the time, by law, that is required for aperson to reside in the state to be considered eligible for in-state tuition at one of its public colleges or universities.

Undergraduate: An undergraduate is a college student working toward an associate or bachelor degree.

Zygomaticus Major: These are two muscles in your face, one on each side. They’re the ones that pull the corners of yourmouth up. Smile! You are on the path to TRANSFER!

Adapted from: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education &

Last Modified: 8/4/23