Learn the Language of Admissions
There can be a lot to learn when you start thinking about college – especially when it seems like everyone else knows what they’re doing. (Spoiler alert: They don’t.)
It helps to start by learning the lingo! We’ve compiled a quick list of terms you’ll probably hear often. You can also check out this full glossary for a breakdown of more popular admissions terms!
- Common App: The Common Application, known as the “Common App,” is used by hundreds of colleges and universities to help students like you use one application to apply to many schools. If you’re applying to Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus right out of high school for your undergraduate degree, you’ll use the Common App.
- University Application: Perimeter College applicants, transfer applicants and all other students use this application for Georgia State’s downtown campus and Perimeter College campuses. Visit this page if you’re not sure which application to use.
- Admissions Counselor vs. Academic Advisor: An admissions counselor helps you navigate the college admissions process. They’ll answer questions about Georgia State and ensure you understand what information and documents are needed to complete the application and enrollment processes. Based on your major (undecided majors, too!) an academic advisor will be assigned to work with you once you’re in school. You’ll meet regularly to make sure you register for the right classes and stay on track to graduate.
- Rolling Admissions: Georgia State admits students on a rolling basis. This means you’ll get a decision from us as soon as we’ve processed your application and necessary documents. (Note: we DO have a “priority deadline,” which brings us to…)
- Priority Deadline vs. Regular Deadline: The “priority deadline” is typically the early application deadline. If you apply by this date, you’ll be considered for Georgia State’s Honors College, various university scholarships and receive a decision by a specific date. Applying by the regular/final deadline means you may miss out on university scholarship opportunities, and there’s no guarantee when you will receive an admissions decision. Read more about our admissions deadlines.
- Application Materials: Application Materials are documents/items that are part of the application process. Examples of application materials include a $60 nonrefundable fee (which can be waived from a variety of sources), your high school transcript submitted by your counselor, an optional letter of recommendation and test scores if your GPA falls below 3.4.
- Test-Optional: Test-optional means that test scores are not required for certain applicants. At Georgia State, for 2023 entry terms, first-year applicants with a GPA of 3.4 or higher are not required to submit test scores for Georgia State University admission. Individuals with a GPA below 3.4 are encouraged to submit test scores. Applicants with less than a 3.4 GPA who do not submit test scores may be placed into one of our special programs or deferred to Perimeter College.
- Associate Degree: Students taking classes at Perimeter College can earn a two-year Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree with an academic concentration in one of our 30+ pathways. You can enter the workforce with a two-year associate degree, or go on to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree: a traditional, four-year college degree that prepares you to earn advanced degrees or begin your careers. Georgia State offers a wide range of bachelor’s options – everything from media entrepreneurship to public health!
- FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. This 20- to 30-minute application determines what kinds of grants, loans, work study opportunities and other scholarships you may be eligible for. Whether or not this is money you’ll have to pay back depends on what you’re offered and what you accept. When filling out the FAFSA, use federal school code 001574 to direct it to Georgia State’s Financial Aid office.
- Orientation: New Student Orientation is Georgia State University’s official undergraduate student orientation program. At New Student Orientation, incoming first-year students can expect to meet their peers, learn more about the resources Georgia State offers and meet with an academic adviser to register for classes.
- The State Way: You’ve probably heard it once or twice. The State Way is how Georgia State sets itself apart from every other university. Our school is rapidly changing and growing, and we’re proud of it! The State Way involves the city of Atlanta, each professor, every campus organization, each student walking across the stage at graduation, and you! Follow #TheStateWay on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook, and schedule a campus visit to see it for yourself!