Browse the list below or jump directly to a particular section by selecting a letter:
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academic advisor  Faculty or staff member who helps students choose their curriculum and set career goals.

accreditation  An endorsement given to educational institutions or academic degree programs by an organization that reviews qualifications. UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

ACT -- American College Testing Program  Exam that measures a student's level of achievement and readiness in four subject areas: English, mathematics, social studies and natural sciences. Students entering a baccalaureate degree program are required to take the ACT or SAT. Scores help advisors determine the classes students are ready to take.

advanced placement  Admission or assignment of a freshman to an advanced course in a certain subject on the basis of evidence that the student has already completed the equivalent of the college's freshman course in that subject.

Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL)  Loan available to Alaska residents attending any eligible school or to non-residents attending a school in Alaska. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Students seeking funds through the ASEL program must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA -- see entry for FAFSA).

associate degree  Two-year degree, granted to students who complete 60 - 80 credit hours of general university requirements and course work in a major field of study.

baccalaureate core  Required course of study for all bachelor's degree students. It includes courses in communication, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and library skills, providing students with a shared foundation of skills and knowledge.

bachelor's degree  Four-year degree, granted to students who complete a minimum of 120 credit hours of general university requirements and course work in a major field of study.

budget  The total cost of attending school for one academic year, including tuition, books and supplies, and living expenses. The financial aid office calculates standard budgets for all students yearly.

catalog  The official UAF publication that provides information about academic programs, facilities, entrance and graduation requirements, student life and other aspects of the university.

certificate program  Vocational certificates that represent one or two years of study with 30 - 60 credit hours of required course work.

chancellor  First in command at UAF. The chancellor oversees all branches of the university including community campuses and the Tanana Valley Campus in Fairbanks.

class schedule  Provides list of classes offered during current or upcoming semester.

class standing  Classification based on the number of semester credit hours a student has earned:

Class standing Credit hours


0 - 29 credits


30 - 59 credits


60 - 89 credits


90+ credits

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)  Examinations in undergraduate college courses that present the opportunity to show college-level achievement. The exams are administered at UAF Testing Services and offered on computer to provide immediate score results.

cost of attendance  The total amount of money needed to cover educational expenses including tuition, fees, housing, food plan, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses.

credit hour  Unit of measure for college classes. Most classes are awarded three credit hours. In general, a three-credit class meets three hours a week throughout the semester, either three times a week for one hour, twice a week for 1 hour or, less commonly, once a week for three hours.

dean  Senior academic officer of a school, college or division within the university.

default  Failure to repay a loan in compliance with the terms of the promissory note. If the records show that you are in default status, your financial aid will be held until you resolve it with the lender(s).

degree  Award received at graduation from college indicating completion of a particular course of study. UAF offers associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

dependent student  Your dependency status is determined based on questions asked on the FAFSA. Status change is only possible if your dependency appeal has been approved by UAF due to extenuating circumstances.

disbursement  A payment; for example, a payment from a loan program to you is a disbursement.

distance education courses  Structured programs of instruction for learners in a different place from the teacher, having learning objectives, one or more teachers, a medium of communication and subject matter.

doctor of philosophy  Granted in recognition of advanced scholarly attainment and proven ability. This degree requires at least three full years of study beyond the baccalaureate degree and usually includes writing a dissertation. Students normally enroll in a doctoral program after completing a master's degree.

expected family contribution (EFC)  The amount of a family's resources (income and assets) that the federal financial aid formula considers available to help pay for school.

FAFSA  Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Financial aid application that determines a student's eligibility to qualify for federal grants, loans and workstudy opportunities. Students can complete this application online at This application must be completed to qualify for the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL).

FERPA  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, ensures that an educational institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. Records with students' names on them -- files, documents and materials that contain information directly related to students and from which students can be individually identified -- must be protected.

financial aid  All federal, state, institutional and agency aid in the forms of loans, grants, scholarships and work study.

financial need  The difference between the cost of education at UAF (student budget) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

first-generation student  A student who will be the first person in his or her immediate family to attend and/or graduate from college.

full-time student  Anyone registered in 12 or more credits per semester as an undergraduate or in 9 or more credits as a graduate student.

GED  Passing the general educational development or GED test certifies that the taker has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills.

general studies  At UAF, general studies students are those who have not yet decided on a major (sometimes referred to as "undeclared" or "undecided" students).

general university requirements  Courses/credits required of all students for graduation.

GPA -- grade point average  Weighted numerical average of the grades earned in classes taken for credit. It is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits in courses attempted. Usually an A is worth 4 points, a B 3 points, a C 2 points and a D 1 point. A student who earns all Bs in all classes, has a 3.0 GPA.

graduate student  A student who has earned a bachelor's degree and is pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.

grant  Money received based on a student's financial need. It does not require repayment.

honors program  An enriched core curriculum. Courses specially designed for Honors students are offered in all disciplines. Honors students take at least one honors course per semester.

housing  UAF offers dormitories and apartments for single and married students, faculty and staff.

independent student  For financial aid purposes you are considered independent if you: 1) are 24 years of age by January 1 of the award year; 2) are married; 3) are a graduate or professional student; 4) have legal dependents other than a spouse; 5) are an orphan or ward of the court; or 6) are a veteran.

internship  Work experience that contributes to a student's academic program. It is coordinated through UAF with a business or organization and monitored by a faculty member.

loan  Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest.

major  Field of study in which a student wishes to specialize. It is possible to have two majors.

master's degree  Postgraduate academic degree usually awarded after completion of a one- or two-year course of studies. Students normally enroll in a master's program after completing a bachelor's degree. UAF offers research-oriented (thesis or project) and practice-oriented (non-thesis) master's degrees.

need-based financial aid  Financial aid that considers a student's financial situation.

non-need-based financial aid  Financial aid that is available regardless of financial circumstances.

non-resident student  A student who does not meet the residence requirements of the state. Tuition differs for residents and non-residents. International students are classified as non-residents.

occupational endorsement  Vocational or professional endorsements that represent 9 or more credit hours of required course work.

part-time student  One who is registered in 11 or fewer credits as an undergraduate or in 8 or fewer credits as a graduate student.

Pell Grant  Federal grant awarded according to a student's financial need.

promissory note  The binding legal document you sign when you get a student loan. It lists the terms under which you are borrowing and the repayment terms to which you are agreeing, including information about interest rate, deferment and cancellation provisions. You should read and keep this document for your records. For Federal Stafford Loans, one Master Promissory Note (MPN) is needed for a first-time borrower. A loan acceptance form is submitted for each Stafford Loan awarded thereafter.

placement test  An exam used to test a student's academic knowledge or ability in a certain field so that he or she may be placed in the appropriate courses.

prerequisite  Course or other requirement that must be completed before enrollment is allowed in another course. For example, UAF students must have completed high school algebra or the equivalent and be placed in ENGL F111X (Introduction to Academic Writing) before they can take BIOL F105X (Fundamentals of Biology I).

provost  Chief academic administrator who oversees all academic schools, colleges and units, including the faculty.

RA -- resident assistant  Student leader who helps students living in the residence halls succeed academically and socially. RAs are among the first people a new student will meet. They organize many programs that help students adjust to residence hall and university life.

Registrar's Office  Processes and maintains previous and currently enrolled students' grades, transcripts and other official records concerning attendance and accomplishments.

registration  Process of meeting with an academic advisor, selecting courses, submitting a course schedule, signing up for classes and paying fees.

resident credit or residency requirements  Resident credit is UAF credit that you earn in formal classroom instruction, correspondence study, distance-delivered courses, individual study or research through any unit of UAF. Transfer credit, advanced placement credit, credit for prior learning, military service credit and credit granted through nationally prepared examinations are not considered resident credit, nor are credit by examination credits earned through locally prepared tests. For graduation with an associate degree you need 15 resident credits, for a baccalaureate, 30 credits.

RSS -- Rural Student Services  Offices where all students at UAF, but especially those from rural Alaska, can gather, meet other students from small communities, and receive advising and academic support.

satisfactory academic progress  To remain eligible for financial aid, a student must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. Academic progress is reviewed at the end of the spring semester to certify a student has maintained a minimum cumulative GPA (2.0 for undergraduates, 3.0 for graduate students) and has completed the required minimum number of credits.

SAT I -- Scholastic Assessment Test I: Reasoning Test   Examination to measure a student's verbal, mathematical and writing abilities. Students entering a baccalaureate degree program are required to take an ACT or SAT test. Scores are used for placement in appropriate courses.

scholarship  Money received based on a student's academic achievement or ability to succeed in college. Scholarships do not have to be repaid.

semester  Basis of UAF's academic calendar. Fall semester runs from early September to mid-December; spring semester runs from mid-January to early May; summer semester runs from early June to mid-August.

Stafford loan  Federally guaranteed, low-interest loan for students. There are two types of federal Stafford loans -- a subsidized (need-based) and unsubsidized (non-need-based). Both types allow deferment of payments until a student leaves school. The government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is in school, whereas with unsubsidized loans the interest begins when the loan is funded but payments can be deferred until principal payments begin.

Student and Enrollment Services  The administrative unit at UAF that coordinates admissions, financial aid, orientation, freshman and transfer services, veterans' services, student services, registration, student academic records and graduation.

subsidized  A subsidized loan is one for which the government pays the interest while you remain in school at least half-time. (See also unsubsidized.)

syllabus  An outline of a course that an instructor distributes the first week of class. A syllabus should contain: general course information such as its title, credits, prerequisites, location, meeting time; instructor information such as name, office location, office hours, telephone, e-mail; course readings/materials; content of the course and how it fits into the broader curriculum; course goals and expected student learning outcomes; instructional methods; course calendar; course policies; and methods of evaluation.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG)  A federal program that provides grants of up to $4,000 a year for undergraduate students on the basis of exceptional financial need.

transcript  Official record of a student's high school or college work. An official transcript (one that is sent directly from a school's registrar's office to UAF) is required as part of a student's application for admission.

transfer credits  Academic credits a student has earned from another accredited institution of higher education. Transfer credits can be applied toward UAF degree requirements.

transfer student  A student who has attended another college and transfers course credits to UAF. A transfer student may receive credit for some or all courses successfully completed at another college or university.

undergraduate  Class standing indicating a college or university student who has not yet received a bachelor's or similar degree. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree and are in a master's or Ph.D. degree program are graduate students.

unsubsidized  An unsubsidized loan is one for which you are responsible for the interest that accrues while you are in school. (See also subsidized.)

Veterans' Services  Special assistance for military veterans at UAF. The Veterans' Services office is located in the Eielson Building as part of the Office of Financial Aid.

wait list  A list of students who want to enroll in a specific course that has already reached its maximum enrollment. A student will only be offered a place in the class if space becomes available because another student drops the class, or if the instructor gives special permission for a student to add the class.

work study  Federal program that provides on-campus part-time employment to undergraduate and graduate students who have financial need. To qualify for federal work study, students must be eligible for federal financial aid as determined by the FAFSA.