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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
Audit opinion An audit, performed by external (or outside) auditors, that usually consists of a one-page "opinion" letter on the general-purpose financial statements. The "opinion" paragraph of the letter usually states that "In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position as of (date) and the results of operations for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting standards generally accepted in the United States." If the auditor cannot state completely the substance of the previous "opinion" sentence, then the auditor will add a phrase such as "...except for..." and state the basis for the exception. When the auditor includes exceptions to the opinion, the opinion is considered to be a "qualified opinion;" when no such exceptions are included, the opinion is considered to be an "unqualified opinion."
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education