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A College Degree: Why Not You? Why Not Now? A Quick Guide for Adult College Students

Good Terms to Know

Academic Service Fees: fees for receiving certain courses of instruction or certain academic services as designated by the institution. These services may include special instruction, testing and the provision of laboratory supplies and materials.

Associate Degree: degree given upon completion of two years of full-time study or the equivalent. Most associate degrees are awarded by community colleges, although some universities also offer them. Some associate degrees transfer to universities; others are for career preparation.

Bachelor’s Degree: degree given upon completion of four years of full-time study or the equivalent.

Credit Hour: credit given for attending one lecture hour of class each week for 15 weeks or equivalent. Most college classes are three credit hours, meaning the total meeting time for a week is three hours. To calculate tuition, multiply the number of credit hours for each class by the cost of tuition per credit hour.

Mandatory Fees: fees used to support the mission of an institution and to support service facilities, such as student unions, health care infirmaries and recreational facilities, as well as other support services used for the purpose of enhancing student life, including scholarships, student travel and student organizations.

Prerequisite: course which a student must take before he or she can enroll in another (usually more challenging) course.

Tuition: payment that students make to cover costs of their classes at state and private colleges and universities. Other fees may also be required.