UA Dictionary

Colleges and universities use so many acronyms sometimes it can feel like learning a whole new language. Thrive Center has created an Arizona Dictionary to help you navigate the many terms you will hear as a member of the Wildcat community. Have a common term you want us to add? Email

D2L: Desire 2 Learn, UA’s learning management system where students access online information for their courses

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

GRO: Grade Replacement Opportunity

INDV: Individuals and Societies, a strand of general education classes

NATS: Natural Sciences, a strand of general education classes

TCE: Teacher Course Evaluations

TRAD: Traditions and Cultures, a strand of general education classes

AHSC: Arizona Health Sciences Center

AME: Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

AZSO: Arizona Sonora Residence Hall

BASC: Bartlett Academic Success Center

BDB: Bear Down Building (formerly Bear Down Gym)

BUMC: Banner University Medical Center

ECE: Electrical and Computer Engineering

ENR2: Environmental and Natural Resources 2

ENRB: Environmental and Natural Resources Building

GC: Global Center

HSIB: Health Sciences Innovation Building

PAS: Physics and Atmospheric Sciences

PSP: Posada San Pedro Residence Hall

SSD: Student Success District

SUMC: Student Union Memorial Center

USB: University Services Building

VDP: Villa Del Puente Residence Hall

CALES: College of Agriculture, Life an Environmental Sciences

CAPLA: College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture 

CAST: College of Applied Science & Technology

CLAS: College of Letters, Arts, and Science

COE: College of Education 

COM: College of Medicine 

CON: College of Nursing

COS: College of Science

CPH: College of Public Health 

SBS: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences 

UAHS: University of Arizona Health Sciences

AGI: Adjusted Gross Income

APR: Annual Percentage Rate

COA: Cost of Attendance 

DOE or ED: Department of Education (Federal)

DTI: Debt To Income

EFC: Expected Family Contribution 

EIN: Employee Identification Number

FSA: Federal Student Aid (website for FAFSA)

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FWS: Federal Work Study 

GAP: General Appeal Process

MPN: Master Promissory Note 

NSLDS: National Student Loan Data System 

OSFA: Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid

PIN: Personal Identification Number

SAP: Satisfactory Academic Progress 

SU: Scholarship Universe

TIN: Taxpayer Idenification Number

QTR: Qualified Tuition Reduction 

AASA: African American Student Affairs

APASA: Asian Pacific American Student Affairs

ARC: Advising Resource Center

ASUA: Associated Students of University of Arizona

CAD: Cats After Dark

CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services

CESL: Center for English as a Second Language

CLC: Cultural Learning Communities

CLEP: College Level Examination Program

DOS: Dean of Students

DCC: Disability Cultural Center

DRC: Disability Resource Center

FSP: Fraternity and Sorority Programs

GA: Graduate Assistant

GEL: Global Experiential Learning

GPSC: Graduate & Professional Student Council

ILC: Integrated Learning Center

ISRC: Immigrant Student Resource Center 

ISS: International Student Services

LGBTQ+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Affairs

NASA: Native American Student Affairs

PA/PM: Peer Advisor/Peer Mentor

PTS: Parking and Transportation Services

RA: Resident Assistant

RHA: Residence Hall Association

S4S: Schedule for Success

SALT: Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques, also known as SALT Center

SECD: Student Engagement & Career Development 

SOS: Support. Outreach. Success. (UA helpdesk)

TA: Teaching Assistant

TSC: Transfer Student Center

UAMES: University of Arizona Medical Emergency Services 

UITS: University Information Technology Services

VETS: Veterans Education and Transition Services 

WEB: Wildcat Events Board

WGRC: Women and Gender Resource Center

WOW: World of Words Library

WSIP: Writing Skills Improvement Program

ACADEMIC ADVISOR: A staff member within your college/major who is dedicated to working with you on your academic plan. This includes planning your class schedule and ensuring you're progressing towards graduation. You can also discuss academic goals, how to find internships or research, and your path towards career, among many other topics. Need to find your academic advisor? You can log into UAccess or CatCloud or check the advising website.


BURSAR: The Bursar's Office bills students on behalf of the university, accepts payment (usually online), and can help explain most charges to you. They can answer questions around tuition and mandatory fees, tuition payment plans and payment dates, cost of attendance, and refunds. 


FIRST CATS: First Cats is the term we use to describe ALL first-generation college students (FGCS) at UArizona. Whether you're engaged with the formal First Cats program or not, our community of first-gen students, faculty, staff, and alumni make up our First Cats community. First Cats also has an expanded definition of FGCG on our website.


FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT (FGCS): A first-gen college student is most traditionally defined as a student who comes from a home were neither parent/legal guardian has completed a bachelor's degree of higher. First Cats has an expanded definition (see above for First Cats information).

PEER MENTOR: A form of mentoring that happens when a student (mentee) is paired with a more experienced student (mentor). This usually happens through a program where the pairing is formal and intentional. UArizona offers multiple peer mentoring programs by major, interest, and identity. 


S.O.S. | SUPPORT. OUTREACH. SUCCESS: A central and simple way to have questions answered and to seek support. This is open to all UArizona community members, not just students, and there are multiple ways to connect: text, email, chat (box on this page!), call, or in-person. 


SUBSIDIZED FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN: A loan available to undergraduate students with financial need. The amount of the loan is determined by your school and cannot exceed your financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The student does not pay interest while they're in school at least half-time, or for the first six months after leaving school/graduation, or during a period of deferment. 


THINK TANK: This is the university's centralized academic support services in-person and online. This includes tutoring, supplemental instruction, writing support, test prep courses (MCAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT), and academic coaching. Most services are offered to students free of charge. 


UNSUBSIDIZED FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN: A loan available to undergraduate and graduate students with no requirement of demonstrated financial need. The amount of the loan is determined by the school based on cost of attendance and additional financial aid received. The student is responsible for paying the interest that accrues while in school. Students are able to pay the interest while enrolled.