SIS Glossary

This glossary defines terms and acronyms relevant to the student experience at the University of Virginia, as well as terms associated with SIS.


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Academic Level

Designation of an undergraduate's status, based on number of completed credits.

Academic Requirements Report Listing of current and completed courses sorted by degree requirements, showing which requirements are completed and what is needed to finish incomplete requirements.

Academic Year

Designation of an undergraduate's status, based on the number of semesters at U.Va.

Accepted Student Applicant who has accepted an admission offer (A in ISIS).

Access UVa

A four point financial aid initiative, created to address the issues of access and affordability for middle and low income families.

Accounting Period A time period for which financial records are maintained and at the end of which financial statements are prepared.
Accrual Basis Income is reported in the fiscal period it is earned, regardless of when it is received, and expenses are deducted in the fiscal period they are incurred, whether they are paid or not. In other words, using accrual basis accounting, both revenues and expenses are recorded when they occur.
Accrual Basis Accounting versus Cash Basis Accounting The difference between the two types of accounting is when revenues and expenses are recorded. In cash basis accounting, revenues are recorded when cash is actually received, and expenses are recorded when they are actually paid (no matter when they were invoiced). The University is currently operating under cash basis accounting.
Activate Applying a student’s financial aid award to his/her student account.
Actual & Limited (A&L) A program that creates credit transactions on the ISIS regular and summer session accounts from the Actual & Limited awards (5AL, 5AA), which are given by schools and departments. The charges that can be paid by this process are: tuition & fees, school fees, international fee, housing, and dining.
Adjustment Modification to an account.
Admit Term The term in which a student will enroll at the University. The standard format for indicating term is: the first integer "1" refers to the 21st century; the second and third integers refer to the year, e.g., "09" for 2009; the last integer refers to the month in which the term begins (8 for fall, 1 for January term, 2 for spring, 6 for summer).
Admit Type In the SIS, a designation used to distinguish first-year applications from transfer applications (FYR for first-year; INT for internal transfer; NGP for new graduate and professional student; RAP for reapply; TRF for transfer).
Admitted Student Applicant who has been extended an offer of admission (X or O in ISIS).
Advanced Placement Credit Credit awarded based on placement exam scores; students are exempted from taking a particular course and are awarded credits.
Advanced Standing Exemptions from particular courses based on placement exam scores; no credit is awarded.
Advising Transcript Expanded version of the official academic transcript viewable through the Student and Faculty centers; contains detailed transfer credit listings, honors and awards, and major changes over time.
Advisor Center Self service application through which advisor can view detailed academic information about advisees and can lift the advisor hold.
Advisor Hold A hold applied to most undergraduate and select graduate students that must be lifted by the advisor prior to the student beginning add/drop; replaces the advising access code.
Allocation A specific sum of money awarded for an institution to use during a specific period.
Area of Interest SIS field used to track an applicant's academic interest(s).
Automated Clearing House (ACH) A reliable and efficient nationwide batch-oriented electronic system of the U. S. Federal Reserve Bank that provides electronic funds transfer (EFT) between banks in one or two business days. Types of payments include direct deposit and e-checks.
Award Letter An official document issued by a financial aid office listing the type, amount, and disbursement of the financial aid awarded to a student.
AY Recruiting Solutions See Hobsons EMT Connect/Apply Yourself
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS)

Degree program designed to meet the needs of the adult learner by offering part-time study, evening courses, small class size, affordable tuition, and a U.Va. degree.

Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY) Academic year that floats with the student’s enrollment. All loans borrowed during BBAY must be within annual loan limit for the student’s grade level.
Budget Office Report A report that is run monthly and used for four separate processes:
• University Budget Office to develop enrollment projections for the following academic year
• SFS to reconcile data in the Student System to data in the Integrated System
• Financial Analysis to calculate the distributable charge amounts
• Financial Analysis to record manually the ISIS tuition, fees, housing, dining, international studies office fees, and admissions deposits revenue data into the Integrated System
Campus Based Program

The term that applies to three federal student aid programs administered on campus. These are: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study programs.

Campus Partners Private vendor that provides billing, accounting, and data processing services for Federal Perkins and institutional loans.
Campus Community

The SIS module that provides a common source of campus data, coordinating all forms of communication. It captures all prospect, applicant, student, alumni, and organizational data.

Career The level of study in the SIS, around which enrollment occurs and statistics such as GPA are computed; e.g., undergraduate, graduate, law, etc.

Cash Basis Accounting

An accounting method in which income is recognized only upon receipt of a cash payment, without considering the period for which payments are due. Also, expenses are accounted for only upon their cash payment. See also Accrual vs. Cash Basis Accounting.

Cavalier Advantage Card A debit card available to students, faculty, or staff that can be used to pay parking fees, bookstore balances, etc. The card cannot be used to pay tuition charges.
Central Processing System (CPS) Processes application for federal student aid.
Common Application A not-for-profit organization that serves applicants and member institutions (UVa is a member) by providing an admission application that students may submit to any of the organization’s over 300 members.
Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Provides a common process and integrated system that enables effective delivery of Title IV funds.
Community Scholars Program Program that allows non-degree seeking students to enroll under the auspices of SCPS in courses offered by one of the degree-granting schools.
Compliance Assistance (CAi) Software tool designed to help administrators ensure that their athletic department and student-athletes are in compliance with NCAA legislation.
Core Readiness Group Individuals within each school or office who are responsible for facilitating the SIS implementation for their school or office.
Course Action Form “Override” form used to add course which cannot be added by student via ISIS.
Course Catalog A master catalog in which every course taught is listed.
Course Number Unique identifier associated with each course in the course catalog; numbering convention generally indicates level of difficulty or program level associated with the course as well as the term in which course is offered; in conjunction with SIS implementation, courses were renumbered from 3 to 4 digits.

DCE Contact Hours

Number of contact hours for SCPS courses.

DCE Course Location

Virginia city/county, U.S. state, or country code of where SCPS course is offered.

DCE Type Credit

Designation of credit type for SCPS courses.

Deactivation Process by which students who do not enroll for a given term are inactivated in the SIS, and thus require readmission to enroll again
Degree Candidate Student flagged in ISIS as expected to graduate this semester.
Delay A means to prevent a Financial Obligation Hold (FOH) from appearing on a student’s account if payment has not been received for outstanding charges.
Delinquent Charge (referral) An outstanding, delinquent obligation owed to the University. The department/school is responsible for making at least 3 attempts to collect the money prior to referring the obligation to Student Financial Services.
Departmental awards Institutional funds offered to students to assist with educational related expenses.
Direct Credit Study abroad programs using U.Va. schedule numbers and credit.
Disbursement Release of funds to the school for delivery to the borrower.
Discoverer Plus A web-based query and reporting tool. Discoverer Plus is the principal application that will be supported by the SIS maintenance organization for use with the SIS Reporting Database.
Dual Degree Candidate Student receiving two degrees (e.g., J.D./M.B.A., B.A./M.T., B.S.C./M.Ed.).
Double Major Student receiving one degree with two majors.
Effective Dating A method of affiliating a date with information in the SIS; new values are added with an effective date identifying when the change is effective


Provides automated FFELP and alternative loan data exchange, updates, and loan information through the Internet.

Emergency Contact Students are required to maintain at least one Emergency Contact and may update this information from the Student Center; next of kin data from ISIS will be converted to this field in the SIS.
Enrollment Appointment The date and time when a student can begin to enroll in courses for a given semester.
Evaluator Admission committee or faculty member.
Exchange student Student visiting from another university who pays tuition to the home school, or a UVa student studying elsewhere who pays tuition to UVa.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) The amount that a student’s family is expected to contribute towards the student’s cost of attendance, as determined by the federal methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress.
External Org The SIS provides external organization tables to store information about external organizations in the system, e.g., School names and CEEB code data from the College Board have been loaded into an External Org table
Faculty Center Self-service application through which faculty can view class rosters and submit final grades.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)

Includes the Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), the Federal Perkins Loan, and the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). These loans are provided by private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and savings & loan associations. These loans are guaranteed against default by the federal government.

Federal Methodology A formula created by Congress used to determine financial need when an individual applies for federally funded student aid with the FAFSA.
Federal Pell Grant Program A federal entitlement grant that provides funds on the basis of a student’s financial need.
Federal Perkins Loan

A fixed interest student loan, awarded to students with exceptional financial need.

Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Federal loans based on financial need, included in the financial aid package awarded by school. Interest is paid by the government while the student is in school at least half-time and during the grace period.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program A campus-based aid program that provides grant assistance to students with financial need who are in undergraduate programs and have not earned a bachelor’s degree or first professional degree.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Federal loans not based on financial need. Borrowers are responsible for interest beginning immediately upon disbursement, although most students defer principal and interest payments until they leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program A federally funded employment program that provides paid jobs, on campus or off campus, for undergraduate or graduate students who need such earnings to meet a portion of their education expenses.
Fellowship A financial endowment set up to support graduate students.
FERPA flag Identification that limits a student's directory information being included in the telephone directory and WHOIS
Financial Obligation Hold (FOH) Outstanding financial and non-dollar obligations owed to the University. A student also may receive an FOH for a non-dollar hold.
Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP)

The University must fill out a FISAP to report expenditures and/or apply for funding for one or more of the three campus-based programs:
• Federal Perkins Loan Program
• Federal Work-Study Program
• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Form used to apply for grants and other need-based aid.
fsaAtlas 3rd party software owned by International Studies Office that is used to store information regarding international students and to interface data to SEVIS.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Agency that approves standards of state and local government accounting and financial reporting.

Grading Method Designation by course of what grading options are allowed for that course.
Grading Option Designation by student of what grades can be assigned for a course.
Grant-in-Aid (GIA) A monetary athletic award given to an athlete for one academic year at a time, which may be renewed each year.
Hobsons EMT Connect/Apply Yourself The vendor that administers the Common Application, used by Undergraduate Admission. This vendor will also provide application services for graduate schools at the University starting for the Fall 2010 class.
Honoraries/Awards Academic awards and honor societies; entered to ISIS and listed in the Final Exercises program.
Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit (1098T) Tax credit opportunities made available through the Tax Relief Act of 1997.
Holds Also called Service Indicators; formerly called blocks, set by various offices that prevent course enrollment.
Hot key(s) Navigation shortcuts using keyboard strokes. Access a full listing by pressing the Ctrl + K keys.
UVa Identity Token A PKI-based, two-factor authentication USB token used by the University for High Assurance validation to protected sensitive data. In regards to the Student Information System, this token is used primarily to establish a secured VPN connection to SIS network resources.
ImageNow Document imaging software, used primarily to reduce the paper flow within an office environment.
Index Refers to the information contained in an electronic document that enables a person to retrieve it from a database.
Institutional Loans Various long term and short term loans such as Dupont and Lawson (Medical School).
Institutional Methodology A standard method of determining a student’s or family’s ability to pay for college used by individual colleges in awarding their own institutional funds for financial aid. Colleges must use the Federal Methodology in awarding any federal funds.
Institutional Need Analysis (INAS) Stand alone, mainframe need analysis system provided by the College Board.
Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) An electronic output document transmitted to the schools the student specified on the application and to state agencies. Sent by the Department of Education’s Central Processing System (CPS), the ISIR summarizes information submitted on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and provides the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The ISIR also includes full applicant data, information on eligibility matches, NSLDS financial aid history, comments, assumptions, and reject reasons.
Instructor Permission Courses Courses that cannot be added via the Student Center without individual approval from the instructor.
Internal Transfer Undergraduate student applying to an upper division school or transferring between schools.
January Term A two week term that begins after the fall semester and prior to the spring semester. Credit hours earned are applied to the student’s spring semester.
Level An undergraduate student's progress toward degree, based on total completed credits, including tests and transfer credits. 0-29 credits=level 1; 30-59 credits=level 2; 60-89 credits=level 3; 90+ credits=level 4. For graduate students, level is either a default value (for Masters and doctoral students), or based on year in program (for Darden, Law, and Medicine).
Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (LNEC) Division of Student Health which identifies students needing priority course enrollment for physical or other medical reasons.
Loan An advance of funds guaranteed by a signed promissory note in which the recipient of the funds promises to repay a specified amount under prescribed conditions.
Local Administrator A role assigned to users of the SIS who have access to correct history on assigned module pages, update information, and run and create reports out of Discoverer.
Local Expert The first point of contact for end-users within respective schools/offices.
Lockbox A service offered by banks to companies in which the company receives payments by mail to a post office box, and the bank picks up the payments several times a day, deposits them into the company’s account, and notifies the company of the deposit. This enables the company to put the money to work as soon as it is received, but the amounts must be large in order for the value obtained to exceed the cost of services.
Mailing address One of several address types in the SIS; Local Address from ISIS will be converted to this address type; students will be required to update/verify this address at least once per year.
Match The systematic process of matching a student’s admissions status with their application for financial aid (FAFSA).
Matriculation The status of being accepted into a specific program and allowed to enroll for a given semester.
Military Billing Documentation is received from any branch of the military or from the student, and credit is applied to the student’s account up front. A contract already must exist with the University before the credit can be applied.
Mode of Instruction Designation of how course is taught, such as in-person or via the Internet.
National Student Clearinghouse Agency that coordinates the transfer of enrollment verifications from colleges and universities to loan servicers.
National Student Loan Data System Department of Education’s central database for student aid. Collects and maintains data on recipients from: FFELP, Direct Loans, Federal Perkins, Federal Pell, along with enrollment data and the transfer student monitor.
NetBadge The University's single sign on web application used to validate the identity of University employees and students for the purpose of logging into web applications.
Non-Dollar Hold A hold regarding non-monetary issues, such as exit interview not completed, NCAA paperwork that still needs to be completed, etc.
Non-Resident Status Less-than-half-time registration status used when student is not enrolled in credits.
Official Academic Transcript The official record of work attempted; includes courses, credits, grades, degrees conferred, thesis/dissertation titles, transfer and advanced placement/standing credits; available from UREG for a fee
Official Award Award made when the student submits the FAFSA, University Financial Aid Application (UFAA) and the supporting documentation (federal tax returns) have been reviewed during the verification process. Students who are not selected for verification must have a FAFSA on file with U.Va., but they may not be required to submit a UFAA or supporting documentation.
Operator A term such as "begins with" or "equals" that enables you to conduct a search on limited amounts of information, such as first letters for names, descriptions, or IDs.
OVAS (Office of Virginia Status) Office that determines a student's eligibility to pay in-state tuition rates.
Packaging The process of assembling one or more financial aid award and loan, grant and/or scholarship, as well as employment, for a student.
PARS Mainframe system that assists in development of financial aid packages. Based on information in the student’s record and parameters provided by the financial aid administrator for each fund, PARS identifies students who meet the criteria for each award, calculates the student’s financial need, calculates an estimated Pell Grant, and assigns funds from various sources as stipulated by the financial aid administrator. Currently used for standard academic year awarding. This does not include BIS, Summer Session, January Term, or graduate students.
Permissions/Permission List Functionality that enables instructors to authorize which students may enroll in a particular class and which enables students to submit an on-line request to enroll.
Plan Course of study, such as a major or minor.
Planner ("My Planner") Student Center tool that allows students to record which courses they may wish to take in future semesters.
PLUS Loan Federal parent loan for undergraduate students. Low-interest, education loans which allow parents to borrow money in order to fund the cost of their child’s education.
Portal Website where applicants, students, and faculty will log in via Netbadge to access the SIS and conduct SIS-related business.
Preliminary Award An estimate of financial aid eligibility. The financial aid administrator uses both the FAFSA and UFAA data to determine the student’s estimated financial need. During the verification process, additional supporting documentation is received, and the estimated data is validated which allows the Preliminary awards to be made Official.
Primary Name Student's full, legal name; one of several name types stored in the SIS.
PTAEO Grants accounting terminology referring to charging instructions: project, task, award, expenditure, and organization.
Quick Pay  
Referral An outstanding delinquent obligation owed to the University. The department or school is responsible for making at least three attempts to collect the money prior to referring the obligation to Student Financial Services.
Renewal FAFSA A partially completed application form to be updated by a current federal financial aid applicant to be eligible to receive Title IV financial aid for the next award year. To use the Renewal FAFSA, the student must have submitted a FAFSA applying for federal financial aid for the preceding award year.
Requisites Limitation on enrollment in a particular course; examples include being in a particular major, level, or co-requisite.
Resource25 Space management software used to track and schedule University academic space, as well as Newcomb Hall and Intramural-Recreational Sports.
Restricted Scholarship Scholarships that have donor criteria on how the scholarships are to be awarded and administered.
Revenue Distribution Includes two separate processes:
• ITS-ADS programs create general ledger transaction files that are fed automatically into the Integrated System to reflect payments that have been received
• The manual process of distributing payments received as revenue for the various schools and departments
Roll Forward Process used to copy the course schedule from one semester to another
Satisfactory Academic Progress A qualitative (grade point average) and quantitative (credit hours) measure of a student’s progress toward the completion of his/her academic program of study.
Schedule of Courses List of courses being offered in a given semester. To be scheduled, a course must be in the course catalog. There will no longer be a COD.
Schedule25 Scheduling algorithm used to make initial classroom assignments for Architecture, Arts & Sciences, and Nursing.
Scholarship Funds used to pay for higher education, which are not required to be repaid.
School Audit School-conducted review of academic progress; used to determine probations and suspensions.
Search/Match The process of searching the SIS database to see if an individual already exists with a bio-demo record.
Semester The entity within the year into which courses and enrollments are organized. Most courses are conducted over the span of an entire semester, although there may be sub-sessions within semester—particularly the case with Summer Session courses—and some schools may offer shorter courses or courses which extend across semesters—as in Darden, Medicine, and SCPS.
Service Indicators Holds (blocks) set by various offices that prevent course enrollment.
Set Off Debt Collection Collection of outstanding debts, including the mandatory referral of delinquent accounts to the Virginia Department of Taxation so these debts can be applied against any state payments made to the individual (e.g., tax refunds, lottery winnings, travel reimbursements, etc.).
SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor Information System) A web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States, administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, a division of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
Sponsor Student’s employer. Sponsor payments are tuition payments made by a student’s employer, and include the University’s Tuition Waiver program.
State Financial Aid Commonwealth of Virginia Grant, Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP), and Graduate student aid. The Commonwealth of Virginia Grant and VGAP are for undergraduate students.
State Pre-pays Funds administered by any state other than Virginia give individuals the chance to pre-pay college tuition and required fees. As a general rule, these programs pay U.Va. that state’s in-state tuition rate per credit hour for a student.
Stipend A fixed amount of money paid at regular intervals as a salary to cover living expenses.
Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Provides ability to exchange information electronically with the U.S. Department of Education.
Student Aid Report (SAR) An electronic output document for the schools that contains a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and all the financial and other data submitted by the student on the FAFSA.
Student Center Self service application through which students can maintain personal data, add/drop classes, view VISTAA reports, etc.
Student-Specific Permission Online means by which instructor can authorize an individual student to enroll in a class; replaces the Course Action Form.
Study Abroad An academic program conducted outside of the United States.
Subject Area Abbreviation identifying the subject of a courses; e.g., HIST, ENWR, COMM, NUCO, etc.
Subplan Specialized focus within a plan, such as a focused area of study or a distinguished major program.
Summer Term Term comprised of three mini-sessions and viewed by SFS as one term, for the purpose of awarding financial aid.
Term Activation The process that indicates a student is eligible to enroll for a given semester.
Test Credit Credit or exemptions awarded based on standardized test or placement test scores.
Third Party Billing A request received from an outside vendor (local/state/federal government agency or an international agency) to send invoice to vendor and not the student. A “delay” is placed on the student’s account until the money is received (this does not apply to SCPS students).
Title IV Financial Aid A component of the Higher Education Act of 1965 which established guidelines for the administration of the federal financial assistance programs.
Transcript The official record of work attempted; includes courses, credits, grades, degrees conferred, thesis/dissertation titles, transfer and advanced placement/standing credits.
Tuition Management System (TMS) A third party vendor that administers the University’s optional monthly payment plan. Under the current plan, tuition, fees, housing, and dining may be paid in ten monthly installments. The required payment schedule allows the student to pay for some of the costs after the start of the term.
Tuition Waiver Full or partial reduction to a student’s tuition charges.
Unofficial transcript On-line version of the official transcript, viewable through the Student and Faculty centers.
Unpaid Faculty Appointment Appointments that do not involve payment of salary or other compensation but do provide an academic rank.
User The User role, tied to a specific module, is assigned to individuals who require access to update information and run pre-defined queries in the SIS, and run and create reports out of Discoverer.
UREG Office of the University Registrar
Validate Period before course enrollment begins for a particular semester in which a student can identify the classes in which they wish to enroll and determine if they meet the requisites and/or do not have any time conflicts. When the enrollment period does begin, the student can retrieve the validated classes and attempt to finalize adding them, at which time the system will check availability of space.
Verification The process of verifying the accuracy of data items submitted on the FAFSA; using supporting documentation (i.e. tax returns, university financial aid application, etc.) provided by the student and his/her family.
ViaKlix The network responsible for contacting the banking and credit card system to authorize payment for a charge to a credit card.
View A collection of data that is designed to facilitate reporting. The data may come from many sources. In Discoverer, a view is also referred to as a folder.
Viewer The Viewer role, tied to a specific module, is assigned to individuals who only require access to view information and run pre-defined queries in the SIS, and run and create reports out of Discoverer.
Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) Investment funds that can be used to pay for all major college expenses, includes tuition, fees, room and board, textbooks, required computers, and supplies.
Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP) Contract that pays the full amount of in-state undergraduate tuition and all mandatory fees on a semester-by-semester basis.
Visiting student Student enrolled in a non-degree program, not working towards a specific UVa degree or certificate.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) Refers to the technology used by the University to allow network access to protected electronic data. The University uses a software client from Cisco Systems to establish an encrypted network tunnel through which data can be securely transmitted.
Volunteer An individual who is not an employee of the University of Virginia and, therefore, does not have the benefit of the insurance available to employees of the University (e.g. workers compensation if injured while working on behalf of the University, etc.)
Wait List (course wait list) Means by which students are added automatically into a full class as space becomes available, in the order in which they got on the list.
Wildcard A symbol which may be used for help in performing a search.
A reduction in the value of an asset or earnings by the amount of an expense or loss.
Year An undergraduate student's progress toward degree, based on years in residence. Calculated by taking anticipated graduation date and counting backwards: last year before graduation=Year 4; two years before graduation=Year 3; three years before graduation=Year 2; four or more years before graduation=Year 1. (Year is not computed for graduate or professional students.)