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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
Independent operations Expenses associated with operations that are independent of or unrelated to the primary missions of the institution (i.e., instruction, research, public service) although they may contribute indirectly to the enhancement of these programs. This category is generally limited to expenses of a major federally funded research and development center. Also includes information technology expenses, actual or allocated costs for operation and maintenance of plant, interest and depreciation related to the independent operations. Expenses of operations owned and managed as investments of the institution's endowment funds are excluded.
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education