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Does everything at WVU have an acronym?! Yep, almost everything. Here's your guide to learning the lingo.

Common Terms


The ACT and SAT are two types of entrance exams used by colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. At WVU, these exams are NOT required (admission into some academic programs may require them, however).


Canady Creative Arts Center


Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.

Learn Moreabout Carruth

Center for Learning, Advising and Student Success.

Learn Moreabout CLASS

Cost of attendance.

Colleges and Schools

Colleges and schools are institutions within a larger university that specialize in a range of academic programs (like the School of Dentistry or the John Chambers College of Business and Economics). At WVU, there are 14 colleges and schools. Think of them like small family units within the greater WVU family.

Credit Card Processing Fee

There is a credit card processing fee applied if you pay your WVU charges with a credit card.


Daily Athenaeum student newspaper.

Learn Moreabout DA

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Learn Moreabout DEI
Dining Dollars

These are virtual dollars included in WVU dining plans that can be used for food and drinks in locations around campus. They can be used instead of meal swipes or when your daily/weekly limit of meal swipes on your dining plan is reached. Funds can be added anytime.

Dining Plan

Dining plans are prepaid food packages (which often include dining dollars) you can use across campus. Choose anything from unlimited meals per week to plans for students who live off-campus. All students who live in a residence hall must buy a dining plan. You’ll need to pick an option (usually by mid-summer) or you will be assigned one.

Learn Moreabout Dining Plan

Direct Loan.

Learn Moreabout DL

Evansdale Residential Complex (also called Towers and includes Bennett, Braxton, Lyon and Brooke Towers).

FAFSA – Free Application For Federal Student Aid

A form completed by current and prospective college students to determine eligibility for federal student financial aid (and additional types of aid). You should submit a FAFSA every year, regardless of your (or your family’s) financial situation.

Learn Moreabout FAFSA – Free Application For Federal Student Aid
Federal Work-Study

This is a federal program in which eligible students earn funds by working part time. Recipients earn a paycheck during academic semesters and also gain valuable experience. The rate of pay is at least minimum wage.

Learn Moreabout Federal Work-Study
FERPA – Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Of 1974

This is a federal law protecting your privacy (after classes start or you move onto campus): it means that your parents/family do not have access to your records and accounts (grades, billing details, etc.) unless you grant it to them.

Learn Moreabout FERPA – Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Of 1974
Financial Aid

Scholarships, grants, employment and loans are available for students who need financial help. A financial aid offer is based on your financial need and eligibility (determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA).

Learn Moreabout Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid ID – both you and at least one parent need to apply for one because it’s used to electronically sign your FAFSA form and other aid-related forms.

Learn Moreabout FSA ID
Grade Point Average (GPA)

The WVU grading system is explained in the course catalog. Each course grade has a numeric value. GPA is used to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Learn Moreabout Grade Point Average (GPA)

Unlike loans, these are sources of funding that generally do not have to be repaid. The Federal Pell Grant is just one example.

Learn Moreabout Grants
Housing Costs

Fees charged for a residence hall room (or other living facility) and food during the school year.


Health Sciences Center.

Learn Moreabout HSC

Intensive English Program.

Learn Moreabout IEP

International Students and Scholars Services.

Learn Moreabout ISSS
Late Fees

Late fees are charged on past-due balances of $200 or more.

Living-Learning Communities

These on-campus communities are focused on a field of study or shared passion of the students who live there (such as business, global cultures, sustainability or the arts). Immerse yourself in what you love, connect with faculty and make friends.

Learn Moreabout Living-Learning Communities

Sources of funding for college that generally do have to be repaid (sometimes with interest). Both students and parents are often able to take out loans.


A major is a specific subject that students can specialize in while earning a college degree (you can major in things like English, mechanical engineering, even puppetry). At WVU, you can customize your degree by choosing to double major (take on two specializations), add a minor (see below) and more. We have over 350 majors to choose from.

Meal Swipe

Single transaction used to eat one meal. Dining plan options include a varying number of swipes. They do not carry over between semesters.


These are like mini-majors in a specific subject that can help you customize your degree and future career path. You can add multiple minors, too.


Mountaineer Information Xpress, the WVU student email (check it every day!)

Learn Moreabout MIX
Mountaineer Card

Your student ID. It's your key to services all over campus.

Learn Moreabout Mountaineer Card
Mountie Bounty

Mountie Bounty is a convenient debit plan that allows you to place dollar amounts on your Mountaineer Card for later use.

Learn Moreabout Mountie Bounty
Parent PLUS Loan

Parent loan for dependent undergraduate students.

Learn Moreabout Parent PLUS Loan

Personal Rapid Transit, our electric-powered people-mover

Learn Moreabout PRT
Student Aid Index (SAI)

A number calculated based on information provided on the FAFSA, that the WVU Hub uses to determine how much federal student aid the student may receive

The Bunker

Our 2,500 square foot facility in the Mountainlair (Room 214) that supports military students.

Learn Moreabout The Bunker
The Lair

Short for Mountainlair, the student union on the downtown area of campus.

Learn Moreabout The Lair
The WVU Hub

Located in Evansdale Crossing, where you go for help with financial aid, scholarships, student accounts and student employment.

Learn Moreabout The WVU Hub

How much college courses cost (the amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment). Tuition does not include the cost of books, fees or room and board (or living expenses; pizza’s not free). The term “tuition” includes WVU tuition, college/school tuition based on your major and University fees.