The process by which an admitted student completes a process to “add” a course(s) for the next term.

Advanced Placement (AP)

A program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curriculum in a variety of subjects and to high school students. Colleges and universities may grant course placement and/or college credit to students who earn a 3, 4 or 5 on the examinations. Regardless of the scores earned on an AP exam, research shows that AP courses give students an opportunity to gain skills and experience that colleges value, and lead to persistence in college. There is a fee for the AP exam, but KSK assists with the fee for students on financial aid.

Admission Tests

Also known as “college entrance exams” or “standardized tests”, these are tests designed to measure students’ skills and help colleges evaluate how ready students are for college-level work. The ACT and the College Board’s SAT are the two standardized admission tests used in the United States. The word “standardized” means that the test measures the same thing in the same way for everyone who takes it.

ACT (American College Test)

A standardized college admission test. It features four main sections: English, math, reading and science — and an optional essay section.

Articulation Agreement

An agreement between two-year and four-year colleges that allows for credits to transfer easily between the institutions. It details which courses need to be taken, and the grades needed for specific programs.

Application for Admission

The form (whether online or hard-copy) that collects student demographic, educational enrollment, and other information which will allow a college/university to review the completed application and make a decision regarding admission to the institution they’ve applied to.

Associate of Art’s Degree (AA)

An undergraduate degree awarded by a college or university upon successful completion of a program of study, usually requiring two years of full-time study, equating to 15 credits a semester. An associate’s degree is typically awarded by community colleges, but select 4-year universities also confer associate’s degrees. An AA may be specific to a career or technical degree, or it may be a transfer degree, allowing students to transfer those credits to a four-year bachelor’s degree-granting school.

Bachelor’s Degree

An undergraduate degree awarded by a college or university upon successful completion of a program of study, typically requiring at least four years (or the equivalent) of full-time study. Common degree types include bachelor of arts (B.A. or A.B.), which refers to the liberal arts, and bachelor of science (B.S.). A bachelor’s is required before starting graduate studies.

Class Standing

The class level status of a student. For example, a college may grant junior class standing to an incoming freshman if he or she has earned college credits through courses, exams or other programs.


A postsecondary institution that typically provides only an undergraduate education, but in some cases, also graduate degrees. Informally, “college” is often used interchangeably with “university” and “school” or “institution.” Separately, “college” can refer to an academic division of a university, such as College of Business.

College Credit

What you earn when a college-level course is successfully completed. Students must earn a certain number of credits to graduate with a degree, credit requirements vary by degree. Colleges may also grant credit for specific scores on exams, such as those offered by the College Board’s AP Program®

Community College

A public, two-year postsecondary institution that offers the associate degree. Sometimes also referred to as a “junior college.” Community colleges typically provide a transfer program, allowing students to transfer to a four-year school to complete their bachelor’s degree, and a career program, which provides students with a vocational degree.


A regularly scheduled class on a particular subject. Each college or university offers degree programs that consist of a specific number of required and elective courses.

Course ID

College courses are often represented by two different values: A course number and a course ID. The course ID relates to a specific course that can be enrolled in within the registration system for a given term.

Course number

A numerical value representing a particular course in a department, such as business.

Course numbers also indicate the level of the course:

  • Courses numbered below 100 are considered remedial, and may not count towards graduation or be transferrable
  • 100 and 200 numbered courses are considered lower division courses
  • 300 and 400 numbered courses are considered upper division courses
  • 500 and 600 numbered courses are considered graduate level courses.

Course Registration

After being admitted to a college or university, students must register for courses. The registration period has deadlines which must be met.


Units that a school uses to indicate that a student has completed and passed courses that are required for a degree. Each school defines the total number and types of credits necessary for degree completion, with every course being assigned a value in terms of “credits,” “credit hours,” or “units.”

Cumulative Grade point average

A student’s overall academic performance in all courses taken, which is calculated as a numerical average of grades earned in all courses. A 4.0 GPA would indicate an “A” had been earned in all courses.


A program of study made up of a set of courses offered by a school.


A diploma or title awarded to students by a college or university after successful completion of a program of study.

Dual Credit

The opportunity to earn high school and college credit at the same time; students completing a single course to earn academic credits that are recognized by two or more institutions


Courses that students can choose to take for credit toward a degree, but are not required.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

An application used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for financial aid from U.S. federal and state governments. The form is available online at The form opens annually on October 1st, and must be completed each year in October, in anticipation of college enrollment the next fall term.

Note: A social security number is required to complete the FAFSA.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records. These rights transfer to the student when they reach the age of 18 or attend a school beyond the high school level.

First Generation College Student

Federally defined as students whose parents have not earned a four-year college degree.


A student in their first year of high school or a college or university.

Financial Aid

Money given or loaned to students to help pay for college. Sources of financial aid include federal and state governments, college, and private organizations like Kamehameha.

Note: applications must be completed to apply for financial aid.

Full-time student

A student who is enrolled at a college or university and is taking at least the minimum number of credits required by the school for a full course load, typically 12 credits are considered “full-time” for undergraduate studies.


A score or mark indicating a student’s academic performance on an exam, paper, or in a course. A “grade” can also refer to which year a student is in while at elementary, middle, or high school, but typically does not apply at the college or university level to reference class standing.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A number that shows overall academic performance. The number is computed by assigning a point value to each grade you earn. Example: A = 4.0


An experience that allows students to work in a professional environment to gain training and skills. Internships may be paid or unpaid, required or optional, taken for credit, or the experiential learning opportunity. Internships can be of varying lengths, and may be offered during or after the academic year.

Junior college

A two-year postsecondary institution that offers the associate degree. (Also see “community college.”)

Junior Standing

The Class standing of a 3rd year student. A college may grant junior standing to a first time “on campus” college student as a result of their having earned college credit through dual credit or AP exam scores.

Letter of recommendation

A letter written by a student’s teacher, counselor, coach, or mentor that assesses his or her qualifications and skills. Colleges, universities, and graduate schools generally require recommendation letters as part of the application process.

Liberal arts

Academic studies of subjects in the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences, with a focus on general knowledge, in contrast to a professional or technical emphasis. “Liberal arts” is often used interchangeably with “liberal arts and sciences” or “arts and sciences.”

Liberal arts college

A postsecondary institution that emphasizes an undergraduate education in liberal arts. The majority of liberal arts colleges have small student bodies, do not offer graduate studies, and focus on faculty teaching rather than research. (See U.S. News’s rankings of Best Liberal Arts Colleges.)


The academic subject area that a student chooses to focus on during his or her undergraduate studies. Students typically must officially choose their major by the end of their sophomore year, allowing them to take a number of courses in the chosen area during their junior and senior years.

Master’s Degree

A graduate degree awarded by a college or university upon successful completion of an advanced program of study, typically requiring one or two years of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Common degree types include master of arts (M.A.), which refers to the liberal arts; master of science (M.S.); and master of business administration (M.B.A.).


To enroll in a program of study at a college or university, with the intention of earning a degree.


HPU’s online portal that allows students to…

Placement Tests

Exams that measure the academic readiness of a student for college-level work. Placement tests are typically given for reading, writing, and math. Placement test results determine what level of college-course a student should begin with.


A required course that must be completed before a student is allowed to enroll in a more advanced one.

Private school

A postsecondary institution controlled by a private individual(s) or a nongovernmental agency. A private institution is usually not supported primarily by public funds and its programs are not operated by publicly elected or appointed officials. Hawai’I Pacific University, is an example of a private school.


The Preliminary SAT, a standardized practice test cosponsored by the nonprofit College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corp., which measures reading, writing, and math skills, giving students experience with the SAT. Students usually take the PSAT in their junior year of high school, and U.S. citizens and permanent residents can submit their scores to qualify for National Merit scholarships.

Public school

A postsecondary institution that is supported mainly by public funds and whose programs are operated by publicly elected or appointed officials. The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and Windward Community College are examples of public schools.

Official Transcript

The official record of a student’s coursework at school or college. At the college level there is typically a charge to request an official transcript. The official transcript comes in a sealed envelope, and is no longer considered official once the envelope has been opened?


The college official who registers students. The registrar may also be responsible for keeping permanent records and maintaining your student file.


The process where students reserve a “seat” in a particular course. The specific steps to accomplish the registration process vary by college. There are also strict deadlines to adhere to for the registration period.


The College Board’s standardized college admission test. It features three main sections: math, reading and writing, which includes a written essay.

SAT Subject Tests

Hour-long, content-based college admission tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas: English, history, math, science and languages. Some colleges use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses as well as in admission decisions. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or earn credit for introductory-level courses.


Periods of study that divide the academic year into two equal segments of approximately 15 to 18 weeks each. Some schools also offer a shorter summer semester, beyond the traditional academic year.


An academic document specific to a course that covers information specific to that course and details content to be covered, deadlines, student expectations, responsibilities and grading parameters.


The official record of your course work at a school or college. Your high school transcript is usually required for college admission and for some financial aid packages.


The process by which a student “transfers” their enrollment from one college or university to another. To complete this process, students must apply for admission at the new school they wish to attend, this may include an application for admission, personal essay, official transcripts, and an application fee. Students will also want to apply for scholarships and financial aid at their new college.

Note: all credits earned at the first university may, or may not, transfer to the new college.

Transfer credit

Credit granted toward a degree on the basis of studies completed at another college or university. For instance, students who transfer from a community college to a four-year college may earn some transfer credit.

Transfer Student

A student who enrolls in a college after having attended another college or university prior to completing their degree.


An amount of money charged by a school per term, per course, or per credit, in exchange for instruction and training. Tuition generally does not include the cost of textbooks, room and board, and other fees.


A college student enrolled in a two-year or four-year study program at a college or university after graduation from high school, leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree.


A postsecondary institution that typically offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. “University” is often used interchangeably with “college”, “institution” and “school.”

Unofficial Transcript

A record of the student’s coursework at school or college that is typically accessible to the student.

Note: for HPU as the student can access their unofficial HPU transcript via Pipeline, there is no fee.

Weighted Grade Point Average (GPA)

A grade point average that’s calculated using a system that assigns a higher point value to grades in certain classes. For example, Kamehameha assigns the value of 4.5 (instead of the standard 4.0) for an A earned in dual credit courses.