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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
Initial cohort A specific group of individuals established for tracking purposes. For the Graduation Rates (GR) and Outcome Measures (OM) components of IPEDS, the initial cohort is defined as the enrollment count before removing revisions and exclusions of all degree/certificate-seeking students who enter in either (1) the fall term of a given academic year, or (2) between September 1st and August 31st of the following year. For the GR component of IPEDS, the initial cohort is only for full-time, first-time students. For OM, all undergraduates are placed in one of four initial cohorts: full-time, first-time; part-time, first-time; full-time, non-first-time; and part-time, non-first time. Revised cohort
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education