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Terms to Know

Nighthawk Talk!

Do some of the new terms you’ve heard around campus sound like a foreign language?  Have no fear:  here’s a handy translation guide to help you make sense of the new college lingo (and maybe even impress some friends and family back home).


900 number

Aka, your Student Identification Number.  Memorize this number!

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar is managed by the Registrar’s Office and is your best resource for important academic dates and deadlines, such as the first day of classes, holiday breaks, withdrawal deadlines, and registration and advising periods, etc.  It’s planned and published several semesters in advance so that you can plan accordingly.

Academic Probation

If your cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 (below C average), you will be placed on academic probation.  Students on academic probation are required to seek academic advisement with a staff advisor and create an academic success plan before registering for the next semester.

Academic Suspension

Students on academic probation who do not earn a 2.0 during their probation period will be placed on academic suspension for two consecutive semesters.  [How you should use this term: “No, Mom! I will never be placed on academic suspension!”]
Official recognition that a college, university, or trade school has met the standards of a regional or national association.  UNG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).

ACTT Centers - for Academics, Computing, Testing, and Tutoring

Both ACTT Centers, one in Gainesville and the other in Oconee, provide you with a place where you can study and check out study materials.  If you like to study in an environment that is not as quiet as the library, then the ACTT Center is for you.


Advisement helps you determine which courses you should take during the next term and is intended to keep you on track towards graduation.  (Why waste time or pay for classes you don’t actually need?)  UNG devotes 2-3 weeks to Advising Weeks every fall and spring semester, just before registration opens.  Check the Academic Calendar to know when Advising Weeks begin. 

Advisor (Academic Advising)

Advisors can help you select which classes to take according to your major, help you plan your course schedule, and answer questions about course credits.  Each student is assigned a faculty advisor according to major, but each campus also has staff academic advisors who can answer general questions about the core curriculum and programs of study requirements.

Associate Degree

Awarded by a college or university after satisfactory completion of a two-year program of study.  An associate’s degree is comprised of the core curriculum and at least 18 credit hours in your major area of concentration. See the list of the associate degrees offered at each UNG campus


Bachelor's (or Baccalaureate) Degree

Awarded by a four-year college or university after satisfactory completion of a program of study.  A baccalaureate degree consists of a minimum of 120 semester hours, at least 21 of which must be upper division hours in the major field.  The degree must have at least 39 semester hours of upper division work overall.  See the list of the bachelor's degrees offered at each UNG campus.

BannerWeb (or Banner)

BannerWeb is our online student record system which enables you to check your financial aid award status, pay your tuition and fees, request a transcript, change your major, update information such as address and telephone number, and register for courses.

Certification of Enrollment

A letter from the Registrar’s Office that includes the number of hours in which you are currently enrolled and your academic standing. You may need a certification of enrollment for auto or health insurance purposes.  You may request a certification of enrollment via BannerWeb at the beginning of each semester, once the drop/add period has ended.

Class Standing (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)

Your class standing is determined by the number of credit hours you have successfully completed:  Freshman-0-29 hours; Sophomore-30-59 hours; Junior- 60-89 hours; and Senior- 90 < hours. 

Co-Requisite Courses

Courses that must be taken during the same semester. For example, each science class requires that you register for both a lecture and a lab, so they are co-requisite courses.

Co-Curricular Transcript

This is a history of your involvement and participation in clubs, organizations, and intramural sports on campus, as well as your attendance at guest speaker events and presentations. Co-Curricular transcripts are important for scholarship applications, internships, or when you apply for transfer admission to another college or university. You can request a copy of your co-curricular transcript through the Office of Student Involvement.

Commuter Student

A student who does not live on campus; typically “commuter” refers to a student living at home with his or her parents, but can also mean any student who lives off-campus.

Core Curriculum

The set of classes (totaling 60 credit hours) that all students must take in order to complete any associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at UNG.  The core curriculum is divided into six basic areas: A-Communication and Quantitative Skills; B-Institutional Options; C-Humanities, Fine Arts, and Ethics; D-Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology; E-Social Sciences; and F-Area of Concentration.  Although some classes are listed in multiple areas, specific class credit can only be used to satisfy one portion of the core.  Please refer to the UNG Academic Catalog for a complete list of core curriculum requirements. 


The person on campus who assists you with personal matters such as anxiety, emotional stress, relationship problems, etc.  College counseling is not like the “counseling” you received in high school—it’s the real deal by qualified and licensed mental health professionals.  (If you need help determining which classes to take, you need an Advisor.)  You can make counseling appointments online, and it’s free for currently enrolled students. Student Counseling

Credit Hour

A credit hour basically represents one hour of class time per week, averaged across the entire term.  Most academic courses (such as English, Psychology, History, etc.) are typically worth 3 credit hours; other courses, like the foreign languages or advanced mathematics, are worth 4 credit hours.  PE activity classes and science labs are usually worth 1 credit hour.  It’s important to note that your tuition is charged per credit hour, though there may be additional fees associated with some classes.   


Each class has a unique Course Reference Number assigned to it.  These numbers are important during registration and when communicating with faculty/staff about a particular section of a class.  Pay attention to the CRNs when planning your schedule and registering—it’s easy to mistype the number and register for the wrong campus or class time!

Desire2Learn (D2L) / eLearning 

D2L is our online learning management system powered by GeorgiaView Blackboard Vista 8.  D2L enables instructors to create and manage web-based learning activities and course materials.  Login with your UNG network ID and password (the same credentials you use for BannerWeb and student email).

Dependent Student

This designation is important for financial aid purposes.  Dependent students are those who do not meet any of the criteria required for independent student status (see below) and must file their FAFSAs using both student and parent tax return information.


A period of time at the beginning of each semester (usually one week) in which students can add, delete, and swap the classes on their schedules any number of times without penalty.  If a new class is added, students are expected to contact the instructor and make up any missed assignments.  Students are also responsible for paying any resulting tuition/fee balance by the end of the drop/add period.  Check the online Academic Calendar to confirm the drop/add dates for each term.


ESL (English as a Second Language) Program

ESL faculty work as a team to help students who are non-native speakers of English acquire proficiency in the use of American English, as required for matriculation in the institution’s degree-granting programs.  Through various student-faculty-staff interactions, the ESL program promotes cross-cultural understanding and helps students develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in college, both socially and academically.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
EFC is determined when you submit a FAFSA to the Office of Financial Aid.  Essentially, it’s an estimate for the amount of money your family can contribute towards the cost of your education in a given academic year. 

Final Exams (Finals)

Final exams are given during the last week of classes. Generally, individual instructors determine the type of final administered, though some classes follow department-wide guidelines.  Final exams are given on specified dates at specific times, which might be different than the regularly scheduled class time.  Each class syllabus should include details about your final exam, but the full final exam schedule is also available online via the Registrar’s Office website.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The UNG Financial Aid office, in association with the U.S. Department of Education, uses the information from this application to determine your eligibility for financial aid, including the Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loans, State Scholarships, State Grants, and some UNG Foundation Scholarships.  Students must complete/renew the FAFSA for every academic year they wish to receive aid.  (One academic year includes the fall, spring, and summer semesters.)  Students are encouraged to complete their application before the priority deadline:  Fall – April 1; Summer – June 1; Spring – November 1.

Full-Time / Part-Time Enrollment

You are enrolled “full-time” if you are taking 12 or more credit hours within a semester.   If you’re taking 11 or fewer credit hours, you are enrolled only “part-time.”  Although your personal, family, or work responsibilities might merit part-time enrollment, it’s important to recognize that part-time status can affect your eligibility for financial aid and might delay your progress towards graduation.  Students who plan to graduate within four years should take 15-17 hours each fall/spring semester, or take summer classes to stay on schedule.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A numerical representation of your overall academic performance.  UNG includes every class for which you’ve received an academic grade in the overall GPA calculation (transfer grades are included in the overall GPA calculation; Ws and grades for learning support classes are not).  Each letter grade is assigned “quality point” value on a 4.0 scale:  A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. 

To calculate your GPA:

  1. Determine the number of quality points you’ve received for each class you’ve taken by multiplying each grade’s quality point value by the number of credit hours for the class.
    - Example:  Joe received an A in his 3-cr ENGL 1101, so 4 qp x3 cr = 12 total quality points for ENGL 1101. 
  2. Next, add up your total number of quality points for all the classes you’ve received a grade in. 
  3. Divide your total quality points by the total number of credit hours you’ve completed.


A hold is placed on a student's academic record when an obligation to the university, whether monetary or material, has not been met.  Common holds include:  immunization records, final transcripts, outstanding balances, overdue books, parking tickets, etc.  Holds are removed by the issuing department when the obligation has been satisfactorily met.  Holds can prevent registration, delay transcript requests, and prevent monetary refunds, so it’s important to resolve them as soon as possible.

Hybrid Course

A hybrid course is one that combines face-to-face instruction with online learning via D2L.  Typically, hybrid courses meet on campus one day per week with the remainder of coursework (including self-guided lectures, homework, quizzes, and some tests) completed online.


Incomplete  Grade

In some situations, an instructor may designate a final course grade as Incomplete (or "I"), rather than assign a failing grade.  Incomplete grades are rare and can be assigned only when a student has not completed a major assignment or examination due to extenuating circumstances.  All remaining course requirements must be completed within a mutually agreed upon timeframe or the "I" grade will be automatically updated to an "F".

Independent Student

A student who is independent for financial aid purposes and can file the FAFSA without submitting any parental information (spousal information is required if the student is married).  Students must meet one of the following criteria in order to qualify as an independent student:

  1. The student is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18)
  2. The student is married
  3. The student has a child for which s/he provides more than half of the child's financial support AND/OR another dependent (other than a spouse) that lives with the student for which the student provides more than half of that person's financial support
  4. The student will be 24 years of age or older by January 1 of the academic year in which s/he is applying for financial aid
  5. The student is enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program
  6. The student is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces

Learning Support

The Learning Support Program is a University System of Georgia initiative that enables entering students who are ineligible for admission to the regular college curriculum to develop the basic skills required to enroll in these classes.  UNG uses the COMPASS test to assess students’ abilities in Reading, English, and Math, and places them in Reading 0099, English 0099, Math 0097, and/or Math 0099 according to their specific test results and needs.

Liberal Education / Liberal Arts

The core curriculum at UNG was developed from a liberal education perspective, meaning it includes courses from the liberal arts:  humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, foreign languages, and fine arts.  Don’t let the term “liberal” fool you; in this context, it means ‘broad sampling’ and is not about liberal politics.  A liberal education is meant to expose you to a wide variety of ideas, giving you the opportunity to specialize in a specific subject and build intellectual and practical skills.  The Association of American Colleges and Universities has written extensively about why a liberal education is so important in the 21st century.


Area of concentration in a particular field of study.  Students usually take the majority of their major-area classes during their junior and senior years at college.  The freshman and sophomore years are generally devoted to completing the core curriculum classes that everyone has to take, as well as any pre-requisite classes required for your major (Area F in the core). 


Online Classes (Internet Classes)

All instruction for online classes takes place via the internet using the online learning management system, D2L (definition above).  Online students must login to D2L to “attend” class and complete the course requirements, including, but not limited to, written assignments, discussions, quizzes, tests, activities, etc.  If you’re considering an online class, think carefully about your ability to stay on-task and complete assignments without direct interaction with an instructor.  While faculty will provide some feedback and additional support via chat or email, students are expected to learn some class material on their own.

Pre-Requisite Course

A course that a student must take and complete prior to registering for another course.  (Example:  English 1101 is a pre-requisite for English 1102.)  It is your responsibility to check for pre-requisite requirements prior to registration; using the course look-up function in the online Academic Catalog is one way to do so.  


You’re in college now, and here your instructors are highly trained professionals who have spent years devoted to studying their specific area of academic specialization.  Most instructors are professors who have a Ph.D. in their areas of discipline, so it’s appropriate to address them as Dr. So’n So.  If you aren’t sure whether your instructor has a Ph.D. or not, err on the side of caution and politely address him/her as Professor ___. 


The period of time in which currently enrolled students schedule/register for the next semester’s courses.  It’s important to register on your first assigned registration date, so prepare early by participating in Advising Weeks and planning your schedule in advance.  You can confirm your registration date and time and check for any registration holds (such as incomplete immunization records, unpaid parking tickets, or library fees) in BannerWeb.



A semester is a period of time constituting half of the regular academic year, typically lasting from 15 to 18 weeks in the fall and spring. The summer semester is a much shorter period of time where students attend classes more frequently during the week for longer periods of time each session. 

Service Learning

In addition to regularly assigned lectures and homework, classes that utilize service learning require students to participate in meaningful community service and then reflect on their experiences.    Service learning activities are intended to help classroom lessons come alive in a real-world context, challenging you to use the information you’ve learned in class to solve local problems.


You’ll receive a class syllabus for each class in which you’re enrolled during the first week of classes (making it super-important to go to class on the first day!).  Syllabi typically include comprehensive course info—like how to contact the instructor, the learning objectives, grading and attendance policies, etc.—and sometimes even an assignment calendar.  The syllabus is the primary document detailing the expectations of a class, so it is important that you read it carefully to learn more about the expectations, policies, and requirements for the course.


Your tranguid is your unofficial transcript at UNG.  The tranguid includes your current class schedule, as well as a record of your academic history, major, faculty advisor, and other important information like your address, phone number, and student identification number.


Your transcript is the official record of your academic work at UNG.  It lists all the courses you attempted and the final grades you received, as well as the degree conferred, if any.

A college student who is pursuing an associate’s or bachelor's degree. 


Students are eligible to withdraw from classes without penalty, as long as their requests are made by the semester withdrawal deadline (midpoint).  Withdrawing before the midpoint results in a “W” for the course; withdrawing after the midpoint results in a “WF.”  Although Ws do not impact GPA, WFs do.   

Withdraw with caution:  Both Ws and WFs count as “attempted hours” and are included in your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculation for financial aid.  If you have financial aid, please consult with a Financial Aid officer prior to withdrawing to determine if your current award or future eligibility will be affected.


A federally funded program in which students take campus jobs as part of their financial aid package.  To participate in a work-study program, students must complete the FAFSA.

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