Quick Reference Guide

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Award Letter: An award letter from a school that states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide the student, if she or he accepts admission and registers as a full-time student

Bright Futures: The state of Florida administers this merit-based scholarship program. It is separate from the Florida Pre-Paid plan

Bull Runner: The on-campus shuttle, free when showing a USF faculty or student ID

Canvas: The learning management software at USF, hosted by a company called Instructure, where students can access their courses (grades, assignments, discussion boards, etc.)

Cashier's Office: The office in charge of billing students for college related expenses such as tuition, fees, room, and board

CLEP: College Level Examination Program; like AP courses, CLEP exams can be used to bypass college requires and earn credits toward graduation without additional coursework

College: An institution of higher learning, often referred to as a "four-year" institution, which grants the bachelor's degree in liberal arts or science or both

Commencement: A graduation ceremony that takes place in August, December, and May at USF. Click here for more information on USF commencement ceremonies

Cost of Attendance: The total cost of going to college, including tuition, room and board, books, transportation, fees, and personal expenses 

Course Number: Every course has an identification number that distinguishes it from other courses in a particular subject (Course numbers increase as the difficulty of the course increases)

Dean: The director or head of a division of a certain professional school or college of a university

DegreeWorks: A tracking system that shows a student's progress toward his or her degree completion

Dual Degree: A program of study that allows a student to concurrently earn two degrees from the same college or university

Electives: Courses students can take for credit toward their degree, but are not part of the required course list

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount of money you and your family could be expected to pay for one year of college costs, based on data gathered from the FASFA and determined by a federal formula applied to that data

FASFA: This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a federal form required from all students who wish to apply for need-based financial aid, including grants, loans, and work study awards

Federal Pell Grant: A grant that's a form of financial aid provided by the Federal government to students whose FASFA indicates a high level of financial need

FF Grade: An "F" grade that also marks academic misconduct / cheating. The second "F" (for cheating) can be added to any grade at the instructor's discretion

Financial Aid Office: The office that decides how much money a student will receive in grants and loans

First-Day Attendance: USF has a policy that all students must attend the first day of class (or equivalent, if online) and this attendance is recorded via a dedicated tool in Canvas

Grants: A form of financial aid provided by federal or state governments, an institution, a foundation, or some other nonprofit funding source, but it does not have to be repaid

GPA: Grade Point Average - figured out by averaging the numerical value of a student's grades (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0). It is cumulative starting freshman year

Honors Classes: Enriched courses that offer the same material as a regular course, but in greater depth and with a faster pace

Independent Study: A course that allows students to earn credit toward their degree for work with a faculty member outside the traditional classroom setting

INTO USF: A for-profit academic program that provides a way for international students who don't meet the language criteria for direct USF admission to a program to have a path leading to USF matriculation

Loans: A type of financial aid that is available to students and to the parents of students. An education loan must be repaid, but in many cases, payments do not begin until the student finishes school

Major: A student's concentrated field of study

Minor: A student's secondary field of study

MyUSF: Also called the "portal," this site allows users to login just once and access several different business systems without need of logging in again

NetID: Network ID; the primary login to computers and MyUSF, which has its own password. Often the same as the email address (without the portion)

OASIS: Online Access Student Information System; the primary access point for students to register for classes and see transcripts along with making payments to bills

OUR: Office of Undergraduate Research; an office where students are able to take part in a variety of projects that enable them to pose or work from a defined research question, apply methods of inquiry to generate findings, and share the findings with others through presentation and publication

Prerequisite: A course that must be taken prior to enrollment in another course

Research Assistant: A graduate student employed part-time to assist faculty with research

Rocky: The USF mascot (Full name is Rocky D. Bull)

Room & Board: The cost of a room in a resident hall and a dining hall meal plan

SMART Lab: Science, Math, and Research Technology lab; 300 computer stations variously used for synchronous class work ("flipped model") or open-use for students with no instructor present

SOCAT: Students of Concern Assistance Team; office that works with students who are troubled or whose behavior concerns others

Subsidized Loans: Need based loans with interest paid by the government and payments deferred as long as the student is enrolled in a post-secondary program of studies

Syllabus: A document distributed to students enrolled in a course that outlines the material a course will cover, instructor expectations, assignments, due dates, instructor contact information, and relevant university policies

TA (Teaching Assistant): A graduate student employed part-time to assist faculty with teaching an undergraduate course

Transcript: The official document containing the record of a student's academic performance and testing history 

Tuition & Fees: The cost of classes, labs, and miscellaneous fees such as a health services fee and student activities fee

Turnitin: A plagiarism-detection service, accessible from within Canvas

University: A school that includes many different schools - such as a college of nursing and a college of business - and that has graduate students

U-Number: The employee number first assigned upon hire; it contains a "U" at the start. Less frequently used than the NetID in most software

USF Health: USF Health has a separate budget line and reporting structure from the Tampa campus. It includes Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Biomedical Sciences, and Pharmacy

USF World: An office on campus that coordinates study abroad, international services, and various education and research goals related to global and international issues

Writing Studio: The writing center on campus, located in the library

Work Study Program: Allows students to work part time during the school year as part of their financial aid package