Institutional Research & Effectiveness

Data Definitions - P

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PART-TIME STAFF (EMPLOYEES)
IPEDS

As determined by the institution. The type of appointment at the snapshot date determines whether an employee is full time or part time. The employee's term of contract is not considered in making the determination of full or part time. Casual employees (hired on an ad-hoc basis or occasional basis to meet short-term needs) and students in the College Work-Study Program (CWS) are not considered part-time staff.

PART-TIME STUDENT
IPEDS/ CDS

Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits.

PASSWORD
IPEDS

A series of numbers or letters that can be used either alone or with a User ID to gain access to the IPEDS data collection system or the Peer Analysis System (PAS).

PATIENT CONTRACTUAL ALLOWANCES 
IPEDS

Contractual allowances provided to insurers or other group health providers which are deducted from fees for services provided by hospitals (thus not included in hospital revenues).

PAYMENTS MADE ON PRINCIPAL
IPEDS

Payments made on plant loan debt to reduce the principal of the loan, regardless of the source of funds.

PEER ANALYSIS SYSTEM (PAS)
IPEDS

An early IPEDS data access tool, no longer available. All the functions in the Peer Analysis System have been incorporated into the IPEDS Data Center.

PELL GRANT PROGRAM
IPEDS

(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart I, as amended.) Provides grant assistance to eligible undergraduate postsecondary students with demonstrated financial need to help meet education expenses.

PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM
IPEDS

(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part E, as amended, Public Laws 89-329, 92-318, et al; 20 USC 1087aa-1087hh.). Formerly known as National Direct Student Loans (NDSL), the Perkins Loan program provides low interest loans to eligible postsecondary students (undergraduate, graduate, or professional students) with demonstrated financial need to help meet educational expenses.

PERMANENT ENDOWMENT
IPEDS

Funds held by an institution that must be held in perpetuity with only the income available for use. Endowments are usually the result of a gift or grant received that is required to be held in perpetuity by the donor or granting agency.

PERSONAL COUNSELING 
CDS

One-on-one or group counseling with trained professionals for students who want to explore personal, educational, or vocational issues

PHYSICAL PLANT ASSETS
IPEDS

These assets consist of land, buildings, improvements, equipment, and library books. Excluded are assets that are part of endowment or other capital fund investments in real estate. Construction in progress is excluded from this total until completed.

PHYSICAL PLANT INDEBTEDNESS
IPEDS

Debt incurred in financing the institution's capital assets, including bonds, mortgages, notes, capital leases, and any other outstanding debt that was incurred to acquire, construct, or improve capital assets such as land, buildings, and improvements other than buildings, equipment, and library books. Excludes indebtedness that is part of endowment or other capital fund investments in real estate. Also excludes construction in progress.

PLACEMENT SERVICES FOR PROGRAM COMPLETERS
IPEDS

Assistance for students in evaluating their career alternatives and in obtaining full-time employment upon leaving the institution.

POST-MASTER'S CERTIFICATE
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study equivalent to 24 semester credit hours beyond the master's degree, but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctor's level.

POSTBACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATE
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study equivalent to 18 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's. It is designed for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree, but does not meet the requirements of a master's degree.

POSTBACCALAUREATE STUDENT
IPEDS

A student with a bachelor's degree who is enrolled in graduate-level or first-professional courses.

POSTSECONDARY AWARD, CERTIFICATE, OR DIPLOMA (AT LEAST 1 BUT LESS THAN 2 ACADEMIC YEARS)
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in at least 1 but less than 2 full-time equivalent academic years , or designed for completion in at least 30 but less than 60 semester or trimester credit hours, or in at least 45 but less than 90 quarter credit hours, or in at least 900 but less than 1,800 contact or clock hours, by a student enrolled full time.

POSTSECONDARY AWARD, CERTIFICATE, OR DIPLOMA (AT LEAST 2 BUT LESS THAN 4 ACADEMIC YEARS)
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in at least 2 but less than 4 full-time equivalent academic years, or designed for completion in at least 60 but less than 120 semester or trimester credit hours, or in at least 90 but less than 180 quarter credit hours, or in at least 1,800 but less than 3,600 contact or clock hours, by a student enrolled full time.

POSTSECONDARY AWARD, CERTIFICATE, OR DIPLOMA (LESS THAN 1 ACADEMIC YEAR)
IPEDS/ CDS

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in less than 1 academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters), or designed for completion in less than 30 semester or trimester credit hours, or in less than 45 quarter credit hours, or in less than 900 contact or clock hours, by a student enrolled full time.

POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
IPEDS

The provision of a formal instructional program whose curriculum is designed primarily for students who are beyond the compulsory age for high school. This includes programs whose purpose is academic, vocational, and continuing professional education, and excludes avocational and adult basic education programs.

POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION INSTITUTION
IPEDS

An institution which has as its sole purpose or one of its primary missions, the provision of postsecondary education.

POSTSECONDARY STATISTICS DIVISION (PSD) 
IPEDS

The Postsecondary Statistics Division (PSD) is the organizational unit within the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) where IPEDS is conducted.

PREDOMINANT CALENDAR SYSTEM
IPEDS

The method by which an institution structures most of its courses for the academic year.

PREPAID TUITION PLAN
IPEDS

A program that allows students or their families to purchase college tuition or tuition credits for future years, at current prices.

PRIMARILY INSTRUCTION
IPEDS

A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of providing instruction or teaching and who may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, or the equivalent. These persons may also hold titles such as deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads or equivalent) if their principal activity is instruction.

PRIMARILY PUBLIC SERVICE
IPEDS

A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of carrying out public service activities such as agricultural extension services, clinical services, or continuing education and who may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor. These persons may also hold titles such as deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or equivalent) if their principal activity is public service.

PRIMARILY RESEARCH
IPEDS

A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of conducting research and who may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or titles such as research associate or postdoctoral fellow. These persons may also hold titles such as deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or equivalent) if their principal activity is research.

PRIMARY OCCUPATIONAL ACTIVITY
IPEDS

The principal activity of a staff member as determined by the institution. If an individual participates in two or more activities, the primary activity is normally determined by the amount of time spent in each activity. Occupational activities are designated as follows: Executive, administrative, and managerial; Faculty (instruction/research/public service); Graduate assistants; Other professional (support/service); Technical and paraprofessional; Clerical and secretarial; Skilled crafts; and Service/maintenance (see separate definitions).

PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTION
IPEDS/ CDS

A private institution in which the individual(s) or agency in control receives compensation other than wages, rent, or other expenses for the assumption of risk.

PRIVATE GIFTS (REVENUES) 
IPEDS

Revenues from private (non-governmental) entities including revenues received from gift or contribution nonexchange transactions (including contributed services) except those from affiliated entities. Includes bequests, promises to give (pledges), gifts from an affiliated organization or a component unit not blended or consolidated, and income from funds held in irrevocable trusts or distributable at the direction of the trustees of the trusts. Includes any contributed services recognized (recorded) by the institution.

PRIVATE GIFTS, GRANTS AND CONTRACTS (REVENUES) 
IPEDS

Revenues from private donors for which no legal consideration is involved and from private contracts for specific goods and services provided to the funder as stipulation for receipt of the funds. Includes only those gifts, grants, and contracts that are directly related to instruction, research, public service, or other institutional purposes. Includes monies received as a result of gifts, grants, or contracts from a foreign government. Also includes the estimated dollar amount of contributed services.

PRIVATE GRANTS AND CONTRACTS (REVENUES)
IPEDS

Revenues from private (non-governmental) entities that are for specific research projects, other types of programs, or for general institutional operations (if not government appropriations). Examples are research projects, training programs, and similar activities for which amounts are received or expenses are reimbursable under the terms of a grant or contract, including amounts to cover both direct and indirect expenses.

PRIVATE INSTITUTION
IPEDS/ CDS

An educational institution controlled by a private individual(s) or by a nongovernmental agency, usually supported primarily by other than public funds, and operated by other than publicly elected or appointed officials. These institutions may be either for-profit or not-for-profit.

PRIVATE NOT-FOR-PROFIT/ NONPROFIT INSTITUTION
IPEDS/ CDS

A private institution in which the individual(s) or agency in control receives no compensation, other than wages, rent, or other expenses for the assumption of risk. These include both independent not-for-profit schools and those affiliated with a religious organization.

PROFESSIONAL STAFF
IPEDS

Employees of an institution whose primary function or occupational activity is classified as one of the following: Faculty; Executive, administrative, and managerial or Other professional.

PROGRAM
IPEDS

A combination of courses and related activities organized for the attainment of broad educational objectives as described by the institution.

PROGRAM CATEGORY
IPEDS

A summary of groups of related instructional programs designated by the first 2 digits of its appropriate Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.

PROGRAM SPECIALTY
IPEDS

A specific instructional program that can be identified by a 6-digit Classification of Institutional Programs (CIP) Code.

PROGRAM WITH NO FORMAL AWARD
 IPEDS

Any formally organized program with stated educational objectives and well-defined completion requirements that does not lead to a formal award.

PROGRAMS OF AT LEAST 2 YEARS BUT LESS THAN 4 YEARS
IPEDS

Programs requiring at least 2 years but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college level work, including associate's degrees and programs that can be completed in at least 1,800 but less than 3,600 contact hours to obtain a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.

PROGRAMS OF AT LEAST 4 YEARS
IPEDS

Programs designed to be completed in at least 8 semesters or 12 quarters to obtain a degree, diploma, or other formal award. Includes programs resulting in all bachelor's degrees and other baccalaureate level or equivalent degrees, as well as 5-year cooperative programs, and those programs in which the normal 4 years of work are designed to be completed in 3 years.

PROGRAMS OF LESS THAN 2 YEARS
 IPEDS

Programs requiring less than 2 years of full-time equivalent college level work (4 semesters or 6 quarters) or less than 1,800 contact hours to obtain a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.

PROPRIETARY INSTITUTION
CDS

See Private for-profit institution.

PUBLIC INSTITUTION
IPEDS/ CDS

An educational institution whose programs and activities are operated by publicly elected or appointed school officials and which is supported primarily by public funds.

PUBLIC SERVICE (EXPENSE-- GASB ALIGNED FORM REPORTERS)
IPEDS

A functional expense category that includes expenses for activities established primarily to provide non-instructional services beneficial to individuals and groups external to the institution. Examples are conferences, institutes, general advisory service, reference bureaus, and similar services provided to particular sectors of the community. This function includes expenses for community services, cooperative extension services, and public broadcasting services. Also includes information technology expenses related to the public service activities if the institution separately budgets and expenses information technology resources (otherwise these expenses are included in academic support). GASB institutions include actual or allocated costs for operation and maintenance of plant and depreciation.