Institutional Research & Effectiveness

Data Definitions - A

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ABROAD
IPEDS

Any geographic location not in the aggregate United States, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the other areas.
 

ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT
CDS

Plan under which each student is assigned to a faculty member or a trained adviser, who, through regular meetings, helps the student plan and implement immediate and long-term academic and vocational goals.
 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM
IPEDS

An instructional program leading toward an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctor's, or first-professional degree or resulting in credits that can be applied to one of these degrees.
 

ACADEMIC SUPPORT (GASB ALIGNED FORM REPORTERS)
IPEDS

A functional expense category that includes expenses of activities and services that support the institution's primary missions of instruction, research, and public service. It includes the retention, preservation, and display of educational materials (for example, libraries, museums, and galleries); organized activities that provide support services to the academic functions of the institution (such as a demonstration school associated with a college of education or veterinary and dental clinics if their primary purpose is to support the instructional program); media such as audiovisual services; academic administration (including academic deans but not department chairpersons); and formally organized and separately budgeted academic personnel development and course and curriculum development expenses. Also included are information technology expenses related to academic support activities; if an institution does not separately budget and expense information technology resources, the costs associated with the three primary programs will be applied to this function and the remainder to institutional support. GASB institutions include actual or allocated costs for operation and maintenance of plant and depreciation.

 

ACADEMIC YEAR
IPEDS

The period of time generally extending from September to June; usually equated to 2 semesters or trimesters, 3 quarters, or the period covered by a 4-1-4 calendar system.
 

ACCELERATED PROGRAM
CDS, IPEDS

Completion of a college program of study in fewer than the usual number of years, most often by attending summer sessions and carrying extra courses during the regular academic term.
 

ACCREDITING AGENCIES
IPEDS

Organizations (or bodies) that establish operating standards for educational or professional institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and publicly announce their findings.
 

ACCREDITING BODIES
IPEDS

See ACCREDITING AGENCIES.
 

ACCUMULATED DEPRECIATION
IPEDS

The total depreciation charged as expenses as of the reporting date (in the current year and in prior years) on the capital assets of the institution. FASB Statement No. 117 and GASB Statement No. 34 require that accumulated depreciation to date be recognized.
NOTE: When a capital asset is removed from the accounting records due to disposal or end of the asset's useful life, the depreciation accumulated through the years on the asset is also removed from the records.
 

ACT
IPEDS

ACT, previously known as the American College Testing program, measures educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework in English, mathematics, natural science, and social studies. Student performance does not reflect innate ability and is influenced by a student's educational preparedness.
 

ACTUAL CALCULATION OF FTE
FTE AUDITOR GENERAL

The credit hours taken by students in lower-division official classes (numbered 100-299) are summed and then divided by 15. This provides us with out lower-division FTE.

The credit hours taken by students in upper-division official classes (numbered 300-499) are summed and then divided by 12. This provides us with our upper-division FTE.

The credit hours taken by students in graduate official classes (numbered 500 and above) are summed and then divided by 10. This provides us with our graduate-level FTE.

The sum of the lower-division FTE plus the upper-division FTE plus the graduate-level FTE is the resulting University FTE total for the semester.

 

ADDITIONS TO PERMANENT ENDOWMENTS
IPEDS

Gifts or grants received by a GASB institution that are restricted to a permanent endowment (institutions often have endowment funds that are classified as permanent endowments). Funds must be held in perpetuity with only the income generally available for use.
NOTE: Institutions often have endowment funds that are classified as permanent endowments; these are funds that must be held in perpetuity with only the income generally available for use. When a GASB institution receives gifts restricted to a permanent endowment, the gift is reported on the Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets below all operating and nonoperating activities on a line titled "additions to permanent endowments." Any investment income on permanent endowments that must be added to the nonexependable fund is not reported in this category but is reported as nonoperating revenue.
 

ADDITIONS TO PHYSICAL PLANT ASSETS
IPEDS

Land, buildings, improvements other than buildings, equipment, and library books that are added during the fiscal year through purchases, by gifts-in-kind from donors, and from other additions; excludes construction in progress.
 

ADJUNCT FACULTY
IPEDS

Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis. Includes both faculty who are hired to teach an academic degree-credit course and those hired to teach a remedial, developmental, or ESL course; whether the latter three categories earn college credit is immaterial. Excludes regular part-time faculty (who, unlike adjuncts are not paid on a course-by-course basis), graduate assistants, full-time professional staff of the institution who may teach individual courses (such as a dean or academic advisor), and appointees who teach non-credit courses exclusively.
 

ADJUSTED COHORT
IPEDS

The result of removing any allowable exclusions from a cohort (or subcohort). For the Graduation Rates component, this is the cohort from which graduation and transfer-out rates are calculated; for the Fall Enrollment component, it is the cohort for calculating retention rate.
 

ADJUSTMENTS TO BEGINNING NET ASSETS
IPEDS

Unusual and infrequent adjustments to assets that are not recorded as current year revenues, expenses, gains, or losses. This includes adjustments for retroactive applications of changes in accounting principles and prior period adjustments.
NOTE: This line on the IPEDS Survey may be set as an automatic balancing line; preparers should review the amount automatically generated to be sure data entry errors have not caused an incorrect amount to be shown.
 

ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT
IPEDS

The system or central office in a multi-campus environment.
 

ADMISSIONS (STUDENTS ADMITTED)
IPEDS

Applicants that have been granted an official offer to enroll in a postsecondary institution.
 

ADMISSIONS TEST SCORES
IPEDS

Scores on standardized admissions tests or special admissions tests.
 

ADMITTED STUDENT
CDS

Applicant who is offered admission to a degree-granting program at your institution.
 

ADULT BASIC EDUCATION
 IPEDS

Courses designed primarily for students 16 years of age and older to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. These courses are not intended to be part of a program leading to a high school credential, nor are they part of any academic, occupational, or vocational program at the postsecondary level.
 

ADULT STUDENT SERVICES
CDS

Admission assistance, support, orientation, and other services expressly for adults who have started college for the first time, or who are re-entering after a lapse of a few years.
 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) COURSES
IPEDS

College-level courses taught in high school. Students may take an examination at the completion of the course; acceptable scores allow students to earn college credit toward a degree, certificate, or other formal award.
 

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS
 IPEDS

Legally separate organizations that are affiliated or associated with a primary GASB institution. These organizations are created for the primary purpose of assisting a primary institution to accomplish its mission but are not subject to the institution's organizational or procedural oversight. Fund-raising foundations, athletic associations, alumni associations, and research foundations are some examples of affiliated organizations. Depending on the organizational structure and other factors, some affiliated organizations may be considered component units and thus their financial activity must be reported separately by the primary institution.
 

AICPA
IPEDS

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
 

AICPA COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY AUDIT GUIDE MODEL
IPEDS

A financial reporting model defined by AICPA. The audit guide contains the primary standards for financial reports of public colleges and universities prior to the effective date of GASB Statements 34 and 35. Standards of this Guide were permitted as one alternative by GASB Statement No. 15 for public institutions.
 

ALL OTHER SPORTS COMBINED
IPEDS

Any sport not specified separately in the collection of Graduation Rates (GRS) data. This includes sports such as golf, tennis, lacrosse or field hockey where teams participate in intercollegiate athletics competition. It does not include cheerleading or dance teams even though the institution might award aid to students participating in these activities under the auspices of the athletic department.
 

ALLOWANCES
IPEDS

That part of a scholarship or fellowship that is used to pay institutional charges such as tuition and fees or room and board charges.
 

AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKA NATIVE (NEW DEFINITION)
IPEDS

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
 

AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKA NATIVE (OLD DEFINITION)
IPEDS/ CDS

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
 

ANNUITY AND LIFE INCOME FUNDS
IPEDS

Funds carrying a stipulation that the institution make payments to one or more specific beneficiaries.
 

APPLICANT
IPEDS/ CDS

An individual who has fulfilled the institution's requirements to be considered for admission (including payment or waiving of the application fee, if any) and who has been notified of one of the following actions: admission, non-admission, placement on waiting list, or application withdrawn by applicant or institution.
 

APPLICATION FEE 
IPEDS/ CDS

That amount of money that an institution charges for processing a student's application for admittance to the institution. This amount is not creditable toward tuition or required fees, nor is it refundable if the student is not admitted to the institution.
 

ASIAN (NEW DEFINITION)
IPEDS

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
 

ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER (OLD DEFINITION)
IPEDS/ CDS

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Pacific Islands. This includes people from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, American Samoa, India, and Vietnam.
 

ASSETS
IPEDS

Physical items (tangible) or rights (intangible) that have value and that are owned by the institution. Assets are useful to the institution because they are a source of future services or because they can be used to secure future benefits.
NOTE: Assets are usually divided into two categories, current and fixed. Current assets are those that can be readily turned into cash. Fixed assets are those which cannot readily be turned into cash without disrupting the operation of the institution. Fixed assets include intangible assets consisting of certain nonmaterial rights and benefits of an institution, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and goodwill. Categories of assets include the following items: 1) cash, cash equivalents, and temporary investments; 2) receivables (net of allowance for uncollectible accounts); 3) inventories, prepaid expenses, and deferred charges; 4) amounts held by trustees for construction and debt services; 5) long-term investments; 6) plant, property, and equipment; and 7) other assets (those assets not falling in one ore more of the above six categories). The exact categories of assets that must be used are not specified and the above are examples only. GASB institutions are required to report assets under two categories - current assets and noncurrent assets.
 

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.
 

AUDIT OPINION
 IPEDS

An audit, performed by external (or outside) auditors, that usually consists of a one-page "opinion" letter on the general-purpose financial statements. The "opinion" paragraph of the letter usually states that "In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position as of (date) and the results of operations for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting standards generally accepted in the United States." If the auditor cannot state completely the substance of the previous "opinion" sentence, then the auditor will add a phrase such as "...except for..." and state the basis for the exception. When the auditor includes exceptions to the opinion, the opinion is considered to be a "qualified opinion;" when no such exceptions are included, the opinion is considered to be an "unqualified opinion."
 

AUDIT/AUDITING (A CLASS)
IPEDS

Term used when a student elects to take a course, but does not wish to receive credit for the course toward a degree or other formal award.
NOTE: Since this activity is not credit bearing, it is not counted in the Enrollment survey when reporting Instructional Activity. The students are not counted as part the fall counts if they are exclusively auditing their classes.

 

AUXILIARY ENTERPRISES EXPENSES
IPEDS

Expenses for essentially self-supporting operations of the institution that exist to furnish a service to students, faculty, or staff, and that charge a fee that is directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the service. Examples are residence halls, food services, student health services, intercollegiate athletics (only if essentially self-supporting), college unions, college stores, faculty and staff parking, and faculty housing. Includes depreciation related to auxiliary enterprises (if separately assigned by the institution). FASB institutions also charge or allocate interest expense to auxiliary enterprises.
 

AUXILIARY ENTERPRISES REVENUES
 IPEDS

Revenues generated by or collected from the auxiliary enterprise operations of the institution that exist to furnish a service to students, faculty, or staff, and that charge a fee that is directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the service. Auxiliary enterprises are managed as essentially self-supporting activities. Examples are residence halls, food services, student health services, intercollegiate athletics, college unions, college stores, and movie theaters.