Admissions Terminology

This glossary of terms is only intended as a guide for assisting you in understanding language used during the admissions process at the time of publication. Further instructions, requirements, and details regarding admissions are communicated through emails, letters and other publications, or through conversations with Appalachian Admissions Representatives. Terms and definitions are subject to change without prior notice. Additionally, if you require a more in-depth understanding of terms or have a question regarding any aspect of the admissions process, please contact our office.

Academic Term – First day of registration through the last day of commencement for a grading period. Example: Fall 2014 begins in August and ends in December.

Academic Year – An "academic year" at Appalachian State University consists of the Fall Semester of one calendar year and the Spring Semester of the following calendar year. The academic year begins with the first day of fall registration and concludes with spring commencement. The summer sessions period extends from the day after graduation of each spring semester through the last day prior to fall semester. The summer sessions are not considered to be part of the academic year. 
Note: Appalachian admits new students into all academic terms (Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II.) Those students who choose to begin their academic career during a Summer Term are counted as part of the Fall class for that year.

ACT – American College Testing Program. Students are encouraged to take the same standardized test multiple times (at least once during the senior year). Appalachian will retain the highest composite score from all reported test attempts. For those taking the ACT, Appalachian requires the written portion of the ACT.

Admissions Counselor – Counselor from the Office of Admissions who assists prospective students, applicants, parents and high school/college counselors through the admission process.

Admissions Review Committee - A student is brought before the committee for further consideration of their admissibility to Appalachian beyond the typical considerations. A student's records may go before the Admissions Committee due to a concern with an applicant's conduct, academic standing, or other mitigating circumstances.

Adult Diploma – A student who did not graduate from high school may earn an equivalent degree by completion of an Adult High School Diploma Program or High School Equivalency Diploma Program.

Advance Non-Refundable Payment – To secure a position at Appalachian after being accepted, all students must make an advance non-refundable payment of $200. As a courtesy, we ask that you submit the advance non-refundable payment only if Appalachian is your school of choice for enrollment.

A.P. – Advanced Placement. Appalachian evaluates Advanced Payment exam scores and articulates those scores for possible course credit, usually within the General Education Curriculum. Refer to the A.P./I.B. Credit Articulation information for minimum score requirements.

Appalachian Ambassadors – A select group of Appalachian students who provide campus tours for prospective students. They work hand in hand with the Office of Admissions, the Alumni Association and the Office of the Chancellor. Meet the Ambassadors at

AppalNet – AppalNet is an internet resource assigned to admitted students. It provides access to multiple University services including e-mail, class resources, course registration, contact information, updates, and the payment of tuition and fees online.

AppConnect - Primary communication tool for prospective students. Students may register for events and find the majority of the information that is detailed in our New Student Guidebook.

Art Portfolio – Each student applying for admission into the Department of Art is required to submit a digital portfolio (directly to the Art Department) of 10 pieces of the student's most recent and accomplished work that will be held in the student's application file and used for reference during Foundations Portfolio Review: For more information visit

Audition – See Music Audition.

C.F.N.C. – College Foundation of North Carolina. A website where students and their parents plan, apply and pay for college. Visit for further information.

Certification Student – See Non-Degree Certification Student.

Checklist – In the AppConnect personalized admissions portal, students are provided indicators as to what "next steps" they should take in their discovery and application process to Appalachian. Specific checklists include: Prospective Student, Applicant, and Admitted Student. For more information about your Checklist visit

Class Rank – A numerical comparison of one student's academic standing to that of other students in his or her high school class.

CLEP – College Level Examination Program. CLEP is a series of tests for introductory college subjects that allow individuals to earn college credit for what they already know regardless of how that knowledge was acquired.

College Student Inventory (C.S.I.) – An institutional survey that is required to be completed by all incoming freshmen.

Credit Evaluation – All college-level work from appropriately accredited institutions will be evaluated to determine whether and to what extent credit for that work will be accepted as course credit at Appalachian.

Credit Hour – A unit of measurement used in determining the quantity of work in an academic course. Each credit hour is roughly equivalent to one hour of class time per week.

Decision – Determination of an applicant’s admission status.

Decision Types:

  • Accept – Offered a space (for a particular term) to become a student at Appalachian. Student must continue to meet eligibility requirements as presented by the Office of Admissions.
  • Accept Spring– Offered a space for the spring academic term to become a student at Appalachian. This decision letter could be sent to the following categories of applicants: applicants that were originally wait-listed for Fall or applicants that became complete after the third notification period. We are fortunate enough to be able to accommodate a select number of competitive students for the Spring term.
  • Deny – Not eligible for admission to Appalachian. Students are encouraged to attend another accredited institution and re-apply for admission as a transfer student. Contact your Admissions Counselor for more information, or visit the transfer web site.
  • Rescind – Administrative withdrawal of an applicant who, as determined by the Office of Admissions, does not continue to meet eligibility requirements or standards.
  • Wait List – As Appalachian becomes more competitive, every attempt is made to place as many students as possible in the Fall class. While an applicant's academic record shows promise, the highly competitive nature of the freshman applicant pool necessitates that we place a certain percentage of applicants on a waiting list. These students are still strong candidates for admission. Students who are placed on the waiting list will receive written notification regarding our final admissions decision by April 26 perhaps even sooner.

Dual Enrollment – Simultaneous enrollment at a high school and an appropriately accredited college or university.

Enrollment Checklist – Steps that an admitted student must complete prior to enrolling at Appalachian. Details regarding dates by which steps must be taken are outlined in the Acceptance Agreement (which would accompany a letter of acceptance).

FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid at Appalachian's priority consideration deadline is March 1st.

Financial Aid – Appalachian's Office of Student Financial Aid seeks to remove financial barriers to education for those who are unable to meet college costs and to assist students and families in securing the financial resources (including loans and grants) necessary to attend college. For more information on financial aid at Appalachian, visit

First Year Seminar – A three semester hour course at Appalachian that helps students integrate knowledge across the academic disciplines through an interdisciplinary approach. These small classes are taught by experienced faculty who are committed to helping freshmen successfully transition from high school to college by developing creative and critical thinking abilities, cultivating effective communication skills, and introducing students to a variety of research tools and methods. The course is required of all new students within the General Education Program. Visit for more information.

Foreign Language Placement Test - An enrollment step completed online by accepted students prior to orientation. This test provides an opportunity for students to be able to place into certain foreign language courses at Appalachian.

Forgiveness Policy – Appalachian offers both a one-year and two-year Forgiveness Policy for returning students. Under the one-year policy, students must earn 30 new semester hours of transferable credit and the credits earned at other institutions will be calculated with the previous Appalachian GPA resulting in a cumulative GPA that must equal a 2.0 or greater. Under the two-year policy, students must have at least a two-year stop-out from Appalachian and any transferable course work taken at another institution during that time must result in a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Freshman Retention Rate – The percentage of students who return to a college or university for their sophomore year. Appalachian's retention rate is 87%.

High School Equivalency Diploma –  An alternative to completing a high school diploma. High School Equivalency Diploma applicants must complete A.A., A.S., or 44 hours of core classes from a North Carolina Community College in order to be admitted into any of the UNC System Institutions. See MCRs.

General Education Program – A degree from Appalachian begins with the General Education Program. This interdisciplinary curriculum forms the basis of an Appalachian education and prepares you for future academic and/or career aspirations.

Grant – Awards based on demonstrated financial need that do not require repayment. Students must submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline to be considered for federal loans. These are available through federal, state, and institutional funds.

High School Profile – A form created by each high school that provides Appalachian with information about the student academic profile at a specific high school.

I.B. – International Baccalaureate. The International Baccalaureate Organization's Diploma Program is a demanding two year, pre-university course of study that leads to examinations. It is designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19. Similar to Advanced Placement ("AP") examinations, students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate ("IB") Diploma Program earn credit hours or advanced placement in college courses. IB grade reports are automatically sent in July to students, their participating high schools, and the colleges they designated when they took the exams. Appalachian receives these scores via email and posts them to the students' records. Appalachian evaluates International Baccalaureate exam scores and articulates those scores into possible course credit, usually within the Core Curriculum. Visit the I.B. Credit Articulation page for minimum score requirements. Test scores must be submitted to Appalachian through official transcripts provided by the testing agency.

Learning Assistance Program – The Learning Assistance Program provides integrated services fostering the personal development and academic growth of general and specific student populations at Appalachian.

Liberal Arts – Scholarly study that focuses on both the humanities and sciences to develop general intellect.

Loan – Financial aid that is awarded to families with the expectation of future repayment. Students must submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline to be considered for federal loans.

MCRs – Minimum Course Requirements. The minimum courses that students are required to have completed before enrolling in any of the UNC 16 state institutions. High school graduates of 2006 and beyond must successfully complete: 4 units of English, 4 units of Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and one of the following: AP Calculus, AP Statistics, Advanced Math or Honors Pre-Calculus, Discrete Math, IB Mathematics Level II, Integrated Mathematics IV, and Advanced Functions and Modeling ), 3 units of Science (including Life Science and Physical Science), 2 units of Social Science (including U.S. History), & 2 units of a Second Language (Must be 2 units of the same second language. American Sign Language also constitutes a second language).

Math Placement Test - Computer based tests that assist Appalachian in placing students in the best class for their major with respect to their mathematics background. Based on your performance on the test, an academic advisor will identify the course(s) that fulfill the student's major requirements and maximize their potential for success. Admitted students take this test online prior to orientation if they have scored less than 520 on the SAT Math test (or less than 22 on the ACT Math test), unless the student has transfer math or A.P. math credit hours. The test has 25 multiple choice questions and the student has 30 minutes to complete. Calculators may be used.

Merit Based Scholarships – University level scholarships that are awarded based on either academic and/or extracurricular merit. Read more about scholarships by visiting Scholarships. The deadline for applying for most of these awards is December 1.

Missing Items – Material absent from an individual student's admission application. Students may view their missing items through First Connections (myApp) and are reminded through periodic e-mails to submit the missing items on their list. An application is not complete until all missing items are received by the Office of Admissions.

Music Audition – Each student who intends to enter the Hayes School of Music must schedule an audition through the School of Music's website. A student's acceptance into a music program does not guarantee the student's acceptance into the University.

N.C. Mentor Program – Governing body of the College Foundation of North Carolina."N.C. Mentor" will appear on your credit/bank statement for the cost of the application fee if application is paid for with a credit/debit card.

Need Based Financial Aid – Financial aid that is awarded based on demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSAand any additional verification materials requested by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students must submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline to be considered for need based financial aid.

New Student Guidebook - Handbook for incoming freshman and transfer students. The book includes helpful information, including enrollment steps, upcoming deadlines, financial preparations and insider tips for a successful start at Appalachian.

Non-Degree Certification Student – This classification is for students not seeking a degree, but certification in their desired area (such as teaching). Students apply through the Office of Admissions while also contacting the department in which they are seeking certification for information on specific requirements. Students generally do not have to provide transcripts unless the department requires them.

Non-Degree Seeking Student – This classification may be used only by individuals who do not plan to receive degrees at Appalachian. The course work cannot be used as a basis for admission to either undergraduate or graduate degree programs. Non-degree applications are accepted on a space available basis. Applicants who are not accepted as degree-seeking freshmen, transfer, or graduate students are not eligible for non-degree status. Applicants must submit a complete application and a nonrefundable $55 application fee.

Notification Datessee notification dates here.

Official Transcript – Official record of high school and/or college courses and grades that must be received in a sealed envelope. All applications require an official high school transcript, as well as an official transcript from any college or university attendance periods.

Orientation – A required program for all new freshmen and transfer students. This event allows you to get a feel for campus, meet faculty and an academic advisor, and finalize your first semester classes. Orientation sessions take place during May and June, with a final session in August for those students who could not attend an earlier session. Orientation is also offered in the spring for students enrolling in the spring academic term.

Placement Tests – Tests that are completed by incoming students prior to and during orientation sessions. Test results indicate those courses for which a student might be best suited.

Portfolio Review – see Art Portfolio.

Prospective Student – A student who has expressed interest in a college or university, but has not yet applied.

Residential Campus – A university campus where students are required or strongly encouraged to live in university residence halls. Students that do live off-campus traditionally live in close proximity to campus. Appalachian is a residential campus and requires all freshmen to live on campus for one year. Transfer students are not guaranteed on-campus housing and are encouraged to seek off-campus housing options early in the admissions process.

Returning Student - A student who has previously attended Appalachian and/or a student with plans to return under the Returning Student Policy or the Forgiveness Policy.

Rolling Admissions – An admissions decision program that allows for a student's application to be considered when all of the required credentials have been submitted. Applicants are notified of admissions continuously throughout the enrollment period. Completed applications usually take four to six weeks to process. Appalachian only reviews transfer applicants through the rolling admissions process.

Room and Board – The dollar amount that represents the combined housing and meal option costs (on-campus) for enrolled students.

SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test. Students are encouraged to take the same standardized test multiple times (at least once during the senior year). Appalachian will retain the highest combined score from all reported test attempts. Students taking the SAT must submit all three components of the test: math, critical reasoning and writing.

Scholarship – Awards to students based on merit or a combination of merit and need. Students are not required to pay back these awards. Visit Scholarships for more details.

Summer Sessions – The summer sessions period extends from the day after graduation of each spring semester through the last day prior to fall semester. There are two summer sessions. The summer sessions are not considered to be part of the academic year, although credits earned during summer sessions are equivalent to those earned during fall or spring semester.

Work Study – Students must complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility for this program. Qualified students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus in a variety of work locations and settings. Wages vary depending on the type of work. Funds are provided by the Federal Government.