The exciting part of the college application season is here! Now that you’re in, what happens next? What does everything mean? We have answers.  

Academic Advisor:

Once you arrive on campus, you’ll meet with your academic advisor to pick courses, discuss major options and negotiate your schedule.


Admissions Officer:

Your admissions officer evaluates your application and helps you through the admissions process. They become your go-to contact for deciphering and navigating financial aid, setting up campus tours and putting you in touch with current students or professors who can give you another perspective on the college.



Alumni are graduates of a college or university. Alumni associations can often help you with networking or career connections after you’ve graduated.


Award Letter:

Your award letter will list the amount and types of financial aid awarded to a student. Colleges must send their award letters by April 1st. Some schools update the financial award letter in their online portal, so make sure to check regularly! See Part One of the College Season Dictionary to refresh the various forms of financial aid that colleges award.


Cost of Attendance:

A total amount of attending the college including tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, miscellaneous personal items, loan fees, dependent care expenses, disability-related expenses and cooperative education program costs.



A division of a college or university responsible for a particular subject or speciality. Sometimes departments are housed under each other-- creative writing might be housed in the English Department, or physics might fall under the Department of Natural and Physical Sciences. When you’re researching majors, remember that departments vary by school, and that your major might exist under a different name.



Instructors or professors at a college or university.


New Student Orientation:

A week or several days over the summer or prior to the start of classes when first year students are welcomed to a university. At larger schools, you can sign up for your preferred orientation date, and at smaller colleges, there’s one for the entire freshman class. Often you’ll be divided up into smaller groups to learn about campus resources, expectations, codes of conduct, and to get to know one another.



An official or administrator who handles student records, scheduling, transcripts, transfers, withdrawals, and keeps track of class lists. You’ll be in contact with the registrar’s office once you’ve enrolled in a school. The registrar can give you more direct assistance enrolling in courses than your academic advisor might be able to provide.



Being placed on a waitlist means you’ll have to wait to be accepted or denied admission to a college. What do you do if you’re wait listed? Check in on the Hughes Blog this weekend to determine the best course of action, or contact a Hughes Advisor to discuss your options.