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College Vocabulary

Colleges and Universities have a language of their own.  Below are a list of words and definitions that will help you understand your student.

Office Definitions

Bursar’s Office Office that handles the assessment and collection of student fees.  Payments to student’s accounts are made to this office and refunds are processed by this office as well. Contact this office if your student has a question about their account balance or refund.
Financial Aid  Office This office administers federal, state, and institutional aid programs to qualified students. Contact this office if your student has a question about their financial aid package, documents needed to process aid, or status of financial aid.
IT or ITD This office is responsible for the implementing, monitoring, and maintaining information technology such as the campus data network, telephone system, computer systems, computer labs, and servers at the University of Memphis. Students should contact this office if they are having an issue with their e-mail or logging into the university site or computer.
Registrar’s Office The Registrar oversees  registration at the University, providing such aids as calendars, class schedules, final exam schedules, and guides to online registration and enrollment management. It also manages student academic records, produces official transcripts.
Scholarship Office This office awards and manages scholarships for current students.  Many incoming freshman are awarded scholarships, but there are also scholarships available to current students.

College Vocabulary

Accreditation Certification that a school or institution has met standards set by an outside review organization
Articulation Agreement An agreement between two or more institutions to transfer courses. The agreement identifies specific courses that may be taken at participating institutions in lieu of courses at the University of Memphis.
Commencement Graduation ceremony that honors graduating students in all schools and colleges
Elective A course that is not required for a major or minor.  For example, if your student is majoring in history, they may take an art class as an elective.
FAFSA Stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The FAFSA must be filled out to be awarded grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study jobs.
Final Exam Period Period of time when final examinations are administered to students.
Graduate Student Student who has completed a bachelor’s degree and is working on completing a master’s or doctoral degree
Greek A member of a fraternity or sorority.
Holds A "hold" may be placed on a student's academic record for various reasons, such as non-payment of tuition and fees, not returning library books or library fines, not satisfying immunization records, parking fines or academic reasons.  Most "holds" prevent students from registering or release of a student's academic records.  Students should check their myMemphis account to contact the correct office to have the hold removed.
Incomplete A temporary grade given to a student who has to leave a class with the intention of completing it within the next semester. An “I” will appear on the student’s transcript until all requirements have been fulfilled. 

A part-time or full-time, temporary job in a real-world setting closely related to a student’s area of study.  It may be done for college credit and it may or may not be paid.

Loan Borrowed money to be repaid after graduation
Major The area that a student chooses to specialize in in their studies
Minor Academic area that a student chooses to specialize in that requires fewer courses than a major
Prerequisite A course that must be completed before a student can enroll in a more advanced course.
Provost Chief University officer who oversees all academic areas of the university
Resident Assistant Also, referred to as a RA. Typically an upper level student who manages and oversees a group of rooms and the students living in them in a residence hall
Student Affairs Division of the university that handles most non-academic activities including student leadership and involvement, adult and commuter student services, campus recreation center, counseling, testing, student health services, student activities, residence halls, dining services, sororities and fraternities, career services, and multicultural affairs.
Study Day The day prior to final examinations during most regular semesters.
Study Week The four day period preceding final examinations.
Syllabus An outline from the professor of course requirement, academic policies, and a tentative schedule of assignments
Undergraduate A student who is working towards a bachelor’s degree
Work-Study Job Job that is awarded as part of a student’s financial aid package.  These jobs are financed through the federal government.  Consideration for federal work-study is given to students who demonstrate financial need.  Students should look at their financial aid award in myMemphis to determine if they have been awarded.  Those not receiving this award can also find employment on campus as a regular student worker.

Parent & Family Services
235 Administration Building
Phone: 901.678.2115

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Last Updated: 8/17/12