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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
Occupational program A program of study consisting of one or more courses, designed to provide the student with sufficient knowledge and skills to perform in a specific occupation.
Occupationally specific program An instructional program, below the bachelor's level, designed to prepare individuals with entry-level skills and training required for employment in a specific trade, occupation, or profession related to the field of study.
Off-campus (not with family) A living arrangement in which a student does not live with the student's parents or legal guardians in any housing facility that is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Off-campus (with family) A living arrangement in which a student lives with the student's parents or legal guardians in any housing facility that is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Off-campus centers (extension centers) Sites outside the confines of the parent institution where courses are offered that are part of an organized program at the parent institution. The sites are not considered to be temporary but may be rented or made available to the institution at no cost by another institution or an organization, agency, or firm.
Off-campus facility A teaching facility located some distance away from the educational institution which operates it.
Off-campus housing Any housing facility that is occupied by students but is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Office and Administrative Support Occupations An occupational category based on the major group in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual called "Office and Administrative Support Occupations." For detailed information refer to the following website: http://www.bls.gov/soc/2010/soc430000.htm.
Official Church Mission An official church mission is one that is established by the church of which the individual is a member and that results in the individual being unable to attend a postsecondary institution during the period of the mission.
Official fall reporting date The date (in the fall) on which an institution must report fall enrollment data to either the state, its board of trustees or governing board, or some other external governing body.
On-campus housing Any residence hall or housing facility owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes.
OPE ID Identification number used by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) to identify schools that have Program Participation Agreements (PPA) so that its students are eligible to participate in Federal Student Financial Assistance programs under Title IV regulations. This is a 6-digit number followed by a 2-digit suffix used to identify branches, additional locations, and other entities that are part of the eligible institution.
Open admission Admission policy whereby the school will accept any student who applies.
Operating GASB requires that revenues and expenses be separated between operating and nonoperating. Operating revenues and expenses result from providing goods and services. Operating transactions are incurred in the course of the operating activities of the institution.
Operation and maintenance of plant A functional expense category that includes expenses for operations established to provide service and maintenance related to campus grounds and facilities used for educational and general purposes. Specific expenses include utilities, fire protection, property insurance, and similar items. This function does include amounts charged to auxiliary enterprises, hospitals, and independent operations. Also includes information technology expenses related to operation and maintenance of plant activities if the institution separately budgets and expenses information technology resources (otherwise these expenses are included in institutional support). Institutions may, as an option, distribute depreciation expense to this function.
Operation and maintenance of plant (GASB form prior to FY2010)

A functional expense category that includes expenses for operations established to provide service and maintenance related to campus grounds and facilities used for educational and general purposes. Specific expenses include utilities, fire protection, property insurance, and similar items. This function does not include amounts charged to auxiliary enterprises, hospitals, and independent operations. Also includes information technology expenses related to operation and maintenance of plant activities if the institution separately budgets and expenses information technology resources (otherwise these expenses are included in institutional support). GASB institutions have these expenses charged to or allocated to other functions.

Term used for GASB institutions in the Finance component prior to Fiscal Year 2010 (expenses - GASB unaligned form)

 

Other academic calendar system Category used to describe "non-traditional" calendar systems at 4-year and 2-year degree-granting institutions. These can include schools that offer primarily on-line courses or "one course at a time."
Other administrative Persons whose assignments require management of the institution, or a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof, but who are subordinate to employees classified as executive and managerial. Assignments require the performance of work directly related to management policies or general business operations of the institution, department or subdivision. Assignments in this category customarily and regularly require the incumbent to exercise discretion and independent judgment. Included in this category are all employees holding titles such as assistant, associate vice presidents (if no direction of others is required); assistant, associate deans (if no direction of others is required); assistant or associate directors; assistant or associate department head, if their principal activity is administrative; assistant or associate managers (including first-line managers of service, production and sales workers who spend more than 80% of their time performing supervisory activities). Term used in the 2001-02 Employees by Assigned Position (EAP) component only.
Other areas Includes American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Other degree/certificate-seeking subcohort A subset of students belonging to a GR cohort who were seeking a degree or certificate other than bachelor's degree upon entry.
Other expenses The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses such as laundry, transportation, and entertainment.
Other federal grants Federal monies awarded to the institution under federal government student aid programs, such as Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), DHHS training grants (aid portion only), the Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership (LEAP) program, and other federal student aid programs. Pell grants are not included in this classification. Note: if the federal government selects the student recipients and simply transmits the funds to the institution for disbursement to the student, the amounts are not considered as revenues and subsequently there are no discounts and allowances or scholarships and fellowships expenses. If the funds are made available to the institution for selection of student recipients, then the amounts received are considered as nonoperating revenues and subsequently as discounts and allowances or scholarships and fellowships expenses.
Other insurance plan (cafeteria plan)

A benefit plan that allows an employee the option of selecting a combination of health care and insurance benefits (e.g. hospital, medical, surgical, dental care, and group life insurance).

Term used prior to 2011-12 in the Human Resources component.

Other professional (support/service)

A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons employed for the primary purpose of performing academic support, student service, and institutional support, whose assignments would require either a baccalaureate degree or higher or experience of such kind and amount as to provide a comparable background. Included in this category are all employees holding titles such as business operations specialists; buyers and purchasing agents; human resources, training, and labor relations specialists; management analysts; meeting and convention planners; miscellaneous business operations specialists; financial specialists; accountants and auditors; budget analysts; financial analysts and advisors; financial examiners; loan counselors and officers; computer specialists; computer and information scientists, research; computer programmers; computer software engineers; computer support specialists; computer systems analysts; database administrators; network and computer systems administrators; network systems and data communication analysts; counselors, social workers, and other community and social service specialists; counselors; social workers; health educators; clergy; directors, religious activities and education; lawyers; librarians, curators, and archivists; museum technicians and conservators; librarians; artists and related workers; designers; athletes, coaches, umpires; dancers and choreographers; music directors and composers; chiropractors; dentists; dietitians and nutritionists; optometrists; pharmacists; physicians and surgeons; podiatrists; registered nurses; therapists; and veterinarians.

(Term used in the IPEDS HR survey component prior to 2012-13)

Other separate health profession schools (Carnegie) An institutional classification developed by the Andrew W. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Other Separate Health Professional Schools award most of their degrees in such fields as chiropractic, nursing, pharmacy, or podiatry. Carnegie Classification
Specialized institutions (Carnegie)
Other sources (revenues) Other sources of revenues not covered elsewhere in the collection of IPEDS Finance data from schools reporting under the pre GASB 34/35 Standards. Examples are interest income and gains (net of losses) from investments of unrestricted current funds, miscellaneous rentals and sales, expired term endowments, and terminated annuity or life income agreements, if not material. Also includes revenues resulting from the sales and services of internal service departments to persons or agencies external to the institution (e.g., the sale of computer time).
Other specialized institutions (Carnegie) An institutional classification developed by the Andrew W. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Other Specialized Institutions include graduate centers, maritime academies, military institutes, and institutions that do not fit any other classification category, but award a majority of degrees in a specialized area not separately identified. Carnegie Classification
Specialized institutions (Carnegie)
Other specific changes in net assets Changes that occur infrequently rather than on a regular basis, but still affect the net assets of the institution. Included in this category are: actuarial gain or (loss) on split interest agreements; gain or (loss) on sale of plant assets; other gain or (loss); discontinued operations; extraordinary gain or (loss); and cumulative effect of change(s) in accounting principle.
Out-of-state centers Sites where courses or programs are offered that are in a state different from the state of the main campus.
Out-of-state student A student who is not a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school.
Out-of-state tuition The tuition charged by institutions to those students who do not meet the institution's or state's residency requirements.

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