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Glossary

The online version of the IPEDS Glossary provides definitions for almost 500 postsecondary-related terms used in the collection and dissemination of IPEDS data.

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Term Definition Related terms
Baccalaureate Colleges - General (Carnegie) An institutional classification developed by the Andrew W. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Baccalaureate Colleges - General are primarily undergraduate colleges with major emphasis on baccalaureate programs . During the period studied, they awarded less than half of their baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts fields. Carnegie Classification
Baccalaureate Colleges - Liberal Arts (Carnegie) An institutional classification developed by the Andrew W. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Baccalaureate Colleges - Liberal Arts are primarily undergraduate colleges with major emphasis on baccalaureate programs . During the period studied, they awarded at least half of their baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts fields. Carnegie Classification
Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges (Carnegie) An institutional classification developed by the Andrew W. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges are undergraduate colleges where the majority of conferrals are below the baccalaureate level (associate's degrees and certificates ). During the period studied, bachelor's degrees accounted for at least ten percent of undergraduate awards. Carnegie Classification
Bachelor's degree An award (baccalaureate or equivalent degree, as determined by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education) that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work. This includes all bachelor's degrees conferred in a 5-year cooperative (work-study) program. A cooperative plan provides for alternate class attendance and employment in business, industry, or government; thus, it allows students to combine actual work experience with their college studies. Also includes bachelor's degrees in which the normal 4 years of work are completed in 3 years.
Bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort In the GR component of IPEDS, a cohort of students who were seeking a bachelor's or equivalent degree upon entry.
Balance owed on principal Outstanding balance owed on indebtedness principal (at the beginning/end of the year) as shown in the liability section of the balance sheet.
Balance sheet An official financial statement that lists a postsecondary institution's assets and liabilities as of a specified date.
Benefits Payments made to or on behalf of an individual over and above that received in the form of a salary or wage. Frequently this is associated with an insurance payment.
Bibliographic utilities, networks and consortia Services provided by national, regional, and local bibliographic utilities networks, and consortia.
Black or African American A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Black, non-Hispanic (old definition) A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa (except those of Hispanic origin).
Board charges Charges assessed students for an academic year for meals.
Board plan The method for providing meals to students during an academic year. Plans may include a specific charge for a specified number of meals per week or a specified amount against which students may charge their meals.
Book value The dollar value of the physical asset at the time of construction or purchase of that asset, or, if the asset is a gift, the market value of the asset at the time of the gift. It may also be the difference between the balance of a physical plant asset account and its related accumulated depreciation account.
Books Books are non-serial printed publications (including music) that are hard or soft covers, or in loose-leaf format.  Count the number of volumes of printed, typewritten, handwritten, photocopied, or processed work.
Books and supplies The average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for an entire academic year (or program). Does not include unusual costs for special groups of students (e.g., engineering or art majors), unless they constitute the majority of students at an institution.
Branch and independent libraries Auxiliary library service outlets with quarters separate from the central library that houses the basic collection. The central library administers the branches. Libraries on branch campuses that have separate NCES identification numbers are reported as separate libraries.
Branch institution A campus or site of an educational institution that is not temporary, is located in a community beyond a reasonable commuting distance from its parent institution, and offers full programs of study, not just courses.
Buildings Capital assets built or acquired for occupancy and use by the entity. These are structures such as classrooms, research facilities, administrative offices, and storage. Includes built-in fixtures and equipment that are essentially part of the permanent structure. Buildings held for the production of revenue are classified as investments.
Business and Financial Operations Occupations An occupational category based on the major group in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual called "Business and Financial Operations Occupations." For detailed information refer to the following website: http://www.bls.gov/soc/2010/soc130000.htm.
Business type activities Activities for which fees are charged to external parties for goods or services. GASB Statement 34 specifies the reporting format to be used by this type of governmental entity.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education