The world of immigration law is full of jargon, and it is very important to use that jargon correctly. One of the most common mistakes I see is the misuse of the term "change of status". A change of status has nothing to with U.S. permanent residence or a "green card". The term refers to a change from one nonimmigrant status to another. For example, someone who enters the U.S. as a B-2 visitor may later decide to attend school in the U.S. That person would need to apply for a change of status from B-2 visitor to F-1 student.
The term "adjustment of status", on the other hand, refers to the process for obtaining U.S. permanent residence (i.e., a "green card") while in the U.S. The person applies to adjust his or her nonimmigrant status to U.S. permanent residence. For example, someone who enters the U.S. as a B-2 visitor may later marry a U.S. citizen and apply for adjustment of status based on that marriage.