15 Words and Phrases Every College Student Should Know

Word Jumble

Educators and students in degree programs alike understand that the transition from high school to college is a major shift. As such, you may not be as familiar with the jargon that your fellow college students use, let alone students in PhD programs. It's important to understand some of the key phrases and terms that your colleagues and peers will use to help you succeed in a university environment.

Duly noted

You've probably heard plenty of people say the words "duly noted" throughout your time in school. While it sounds a little old-fashioned, it's still in use throughout many courses and programs. If you're saying something is duly noted, you're agreeing that it is both appropriate and also justified.

Public health

Surely, the phrase "public health" is fairly self-explanatory, right? Not always. Public health has many uses from referring to the general health of communities to the overall well-being of specific groups. For instance, you could advocate for the health of pregnant women as a group but also for minorities and underserved communities.


Many Kingsport City Schools are familiar with acapella; however, it's a surprisingly big part of college living. Many colleges and universities have their own acapella groups and practice d-b acapella. D-b acapella refers primarily to the key. Colleges have a noted competition when it comes to d-b acapella and take said noted competition seriously.


Want to know the status of your degree progress? The most noted means for finding out is a degree audit. It'll show you which classes you've completed and which you have yet to finish for your degree.


Are you going to live on campus in a dorm? Or are you going to live off-campus in your own housing? While you may have some noted competition for housing spots, if you live off-campus, you're a commuter.

Credit hours

Every college student needs a set number of credit hours to graduate. It'll vary by major, but it's important to keep in mind so you know more about your degree progress.


Work-study is a great way to fund your degree while you're on campus. Whether you're working for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) or at your local campus library, work-study can help you pay your way through school.


Grants and loans are two very different things. Loan money needs to be paid back with interest. Grants, however, do not. If you can apply for and receive grants, it's a better option in many cases.


Also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the FAFSA determines your eligibility for financial assistance while you're enrolled in a college program.


In college, your curriculum refers to the courses required to acquire your degree.

Bachelor's degree

The majority of college students finish their undergraduate terms with a bachelor's degree. It'll depend on your program, though. Medical programs are often lengthier and come with different degrees.

Associate's degree

Where a bachelor's takes a traditional four years, an associate's is often two. It's a great way to get education and some quality classes under your belt without committing to a lengthy program.

Class standing

Just because it's your second year of college doesn't automatically mean you're a sophomore. Instead, your class standing is determined by the number of successful credits you have.

Concurrent enrollment

Concurrent enrollment means you're enrolled in two institutions at once. Often this is both high school and a local college, but sometimes it's two colleges or a university and a community college.

Impacted programs

Sometimes courses are in such high demand that they become impacted programs. This means that they're temporarily closed to new student enrollments.

 While this isn't a holistic list of important college terms, it's a great primer for new students to help them navigate campus and classes for the first time.

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