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Super-senior

noun; compounding
a college student who finishes his/her undergraduate degree in five years instead of four. The term super-senior is often heard around college students because it refers to a group of students who choose to graduate a year later, completing five undergraduate years instead of four, either by choice or by necessity. The term is compounded with words super, which means extending beyond or above, which makes sense since a super-senior goes beyond the required four years and is metaphorically above everyone else in terms of age and experience at the university. The senior part of the compound is appropriate because the person will be a senior yet again, since there isn't another classification for them and because they are the oldest and are in fact the literal seniors there. I believe the term was coined for humorous purposes although many interpret the term to be insulting because it can be taken as making fun of those who do not have the major requirements to graduate along with their class. The term is much more informal than calling someone a 5th year undergraduate student and for that reason is probably more accepted by college students.
 
There’s nothing wrong with doing a 5th year at Rice as a super-senior.
Etymology : super-senior. From Latin super 'above, beyond' + Latin senior 'older'.
Source : O-week advisor.
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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