Throughout the admissions process, you will hear a lot of new acronyms and phrases. We’ve defined many of those terms below.


  • Accelerated Programs : An opportunity to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Elon University in four, five or six years. Accelerated programs are offered in nursing, business, and health sciences.
  • Advisor: An individual who gives advice in a particular field. In the college setting an advisor helps students plan a course of study.
  • Dual-Degree Program: A program allowing you to earn two degrees.
  • Faculty: Instructors, teachers and/or professors that teach a specific subject.
  • Fellowship: An opportunity focused on professional development or academic research, often offered for graduate/ post-graduate students.
  • Fellows Program: A highly-selective, merit-based program at Elon designed for students who are looking for additional challenge and opportunity during their college experience.
  • Humanities: Academic disciplines that focus on the study of human society and culture Example: English, history, philosophy, etc.
  • Liberal Arts Education: An academic program which promotes the integration of learning across the curriculum. Students are educated in multiple fields of study.
  • Major: A primary area of study that a student specializes in as they pursue their degree.
  • Mentee: The individual who is advised or counseled by a mentor.
  • Mentor: An experienced and trusted individual who guides and directs a mentee.
  • Minor: A secondary area of study.
  • Office Hours: Designated time held by faculty for students to ask questions about assignments outside of class time.
  • Syllabus: A document that outlines the topics you will study, due dates, and tests for a course; your professors will provide one for each of your college courses.

Admissions Terms

  • Acorn Account: Your go-to account for updates about your Elon application.
  • ALANAM: African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native and Multiracial.
  • Deferred: This admissions decision means the admissions committee needs to take another look at your application. At Elon University, demonstrated interest can help your application go from defer to admit.
  • Demonstrated Interest: This can be sending an email to your admissions counselor, calling our office, logging into a virtual event or visiting campus. Stay in touch. Is Elon your top choice? Let us know! Did you enjoy your tour? Let us know! Have a question about something you read on the website? Ask us!
  • Early Action: Students who would like an early answer on their application status may apply Early Action. Early Action is non-binding, and students are permitted to apply to other schools in addition to Elon. This is the most popular deadline among applicants to Elon University.
  • Early Decision: Students whose first choice is Elon are encouraged to apply Early Decision. The Early Decision agreement is a binding agreement that a student will enroll at Elon if accepted. Early Decision is not recommended if you are auditioning for a fine arts program, trying out for a Division 1 sports team or applying to the Odyssey Program.
  • Regular Decision: This is the final application deadline for first-year admissions. Applications received after this date will be considered on a space-available basis.
  • Test Blind: Test scores are not used to review your application for admission.
  • Test Optional: Test scores are not required when reviewing your application; however, it is your choice whether to send scores.
  • Wait List: If a college or university has not formally admitted or denied a student, they are added to a wait list. This means admission may be offered if spaces become available.

Elon Experiences

  • Experiential Learning Requirements (ELRs): These requirements prepare students for lives of meaningful work and service by engaging in opportunities that integrate knowledge and experience. At Elon, students are required to complete at least two of the following five options: Study Abroad/Study USA, Internship, Research, Service Learning and Leadership.
  • Internship: A short-term professional opportunity that can be paid or unpaid and is designed to help students gain work experience.
  • Service Learning: A volunteering experience that engages students in real-life settings, working on community issues to connect classroom learning with societal issues.
  • Study Abroad: This opportunity is to study away from Elon in another country for a semester, Winter Term or summer immersing yourself into another culture while taking classes.
  • Study USA: Study USA offers dedicated programs in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. These programs, in partnership with Elon faculty-in-residence or local partners, provide academic coursework, internships, and alumni support on-site to help you kick start your career. Study USA puts you where the action is happening.
  • Undergraduate Research: The exploration of a specific topic within a field conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

Financial Aid Terms

  • Cost of Attendance: The total cost to attend college including tuition, room and board, and other miscellaneous expenses (ie. Student government fee, health services fee, etc.)
  • Endowed Scholarships (Odyssey Program): A scholarship that has been established by a donor and is invested with the college’s endowment. This type of scholarship earns interest each year and is awarded indefinitely. Elon’s Odyssey Program is an endowed scholarship program.
  • FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an online application for federal student aid. This document is required to be considered for need-based financial aid at Elon University. FAFSA
  • Federal Work Study: A U.S. Federal Aid Program that provides part-time jobs, administered by participating institutions, for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need.
  • Grants: A form of financial aid that is awarded solely on demonstrated need. This traditionally does not need to be repaid to the institution.
  • Pell Grants: A U.S. Federal Student Aid Grant Program that is traditionally available to students with high financial need. This traditionally does not need to be repaid.
  • Subsidized Loans: Loans for undergraduate students that do not accrue interest while the student is in school.
  • Tuition: The cost charged by a school or university for instruction.
  • Unsubsidized Loans: Loans for undergraduate and graduate students that do accrue interest while the student is in school.

Residence Life

  • Living Learning Community (LLC): A residence hall of students who have a similar academic interest, hobby, affinity or passion.
  • Room and Board: The cost to live on campus and have a meal plan.
  • Self-Care: The practice of taking action to protect your well-being and happiness.