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Projections of Education Statistics to 2020

NCES 2011-026
September 2011

Glossary

Data Terms

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American Indian or Alaska Native:
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
Asian/Pacific Islander:
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Pacific Islands. This includes people from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, American Samoa, India, and Vietnam.
Associate's degree
An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.
Autocorrelation
Correlation of the error terms from different observations of the same variable. Also called serial correlation.
Average daily attendance (ADA)
The aggregate attendance of a school during a reporting period (normally a school year) divided by the number of days school is in session during this period. Only days on which the pupils are under the guidance and direction of teachers should be considered days in session.
Average daily membership (ADM)
The aggregate membership of a school during a reporting period (normally a school year) divided by the number of days school is in session during this period. Only days on which the pupils are under the guidance and direction of teachers should be considered as days in session. The ADM for groups of schools having varying lengths of terms is the average of the ADMs obtained for the individual schools.
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.
Black
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa (except those of Hispanic origin).
Breusch-Godfrey serial correlation LM test
A statistic testing the independence of errors in least-squares regression against alternatives of first-order and higher degrees of serial correlation. The test belongs to a class of asymptotic tests known as the Lagrange multiplier (LM) tests.

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Classroom Teacher
A staff member assigned the professional activities of instructing pupils in self-contained classes or courses, or in classroom situations. Usually expressed in full-time-equivalents.
Cohort
A group of individuals that have a statistical factor in common (e.g., year of birth).
College
A postsecondary school that offers a general or liberal arts education, usually leading to an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctor's, or first-professional degree. Junior colleges and community colleges are included in this term.
Cohort-component method
A method for estimating and projecting a population is distinguished by its ability to preserve knowledge of an age distribution of a population (which may be of a single sex, race, and Hispanic origin) over time.
Constant dollars
Dollar amounts that have been adjusted by means of price and cost indexes to eliminate inflationary factors and allow direct comparison across years.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
This price index measures the average change in the cost of a fixed-market basket of goods and services purchased by consumers.
Current dollars
Dollar amounts that have not been adjusted to compensate for inflation.
Current expenditures (elementary/secondary)
The expenditures for operating local public schools, excluding capital outlay and interest on school debt. These expenditures include such items as salaries for school personnel, fixed charges, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs.
Current expenditures per pupil in average daily attendance
Current expenditures for the regular school term divided by the ADA of full-time pupils (or full-timeequivalency of pupils) during the term. See also Current expenditures and Average daily attendance.
Current Population Survey
See appendix C: Data Sources.

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Degree-granting institutions
Postsecondary institutions that are eligible for Title IV federal financial aid programs and that grant an associate's or higher degree. For an institution to be eligible to participate in Title IV financial aid programs it must offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, have been in business for at least 2 years, and have signed a participation agreement with the Department.
Degrees of freedom
The number of free or linearly independent sample observations used in the calculation of a statistic. In a time series regression with t time periods and k independent variables including a constant term, there would be t minus k degrees of freedom.
Dependent variable
A mathematical variable whose value is determined by that of one or more other variables in a function. In regression analysis, when a random variable, y, is expressed as a function of variables x1, x2,..., plus a stochastic term, then y is known as the “dependent variable.”
Disposable income
Current income received by persons less their contributions for social insurance, personal tax, and nontax payments. It is the income available to persons for spending and saving. Nontax payments include passport fees, fines and penalties, donations, and tuitions and fees paid to schools and hospitals operated mainly by the government. See also Personal income.
Doctor's degree
Doctor's degree: The highest award a student can earn for graduate study. The doctor's degree classification includes such degrees as Doctor of Education, Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of Public Health, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in any field such as agronomy, food technology, education, engineering, public administration, ophthalmology, or radiology.
Double exponential smoothing
A method that takes a single smoothed average component of demand and smoothes it a second time to allow for estimation of a trend effect.
Durbin-Watson statistic
A statistic testing the independence of errors in least squares regression against the alternative of first-order serial correlation. The statistic is a simple linear transformation of the first-order serial correlation of residuals and, although its distribution is unknown, it is tested by bounding statistics that follow R. L. Anderson’s distribution.

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Econometrics
The quantitative examination of economic trends and relationships using statistical techniques, and the development, examination, and refinement of those techniques.
Elementary and secondary schools
As used in this publication, includes only regular schools, that is, schools that are part of state and local school systems and also most private elementary and secondary schools, both religiously affiliated and nonsectarian. Schools not included in this term are subcollegiate departments of institutions of higher education, federal schools for Indians, and federal schools on military posts and other federal installations.
Elementary school
A school classified as elementary by state and local practice and composed of any span of grades not above grade 8. A preschool or kindergarten school is included under this heading only if it is an integral part of an elementary school or a regularly established school system.
Enrollment
The number of students registered in a given school unit at a given time, generally in the fall of a year.
Estimate
A numerical value obtained from a statistical sample and assigned to a population parameter. The particular value yielded by an estimator in a given set of circumstances or the rule by which such particular values are calculated.
Estimating equation
An equation involving observed quantities and an unknown that serves to estimate the latter.
Estimation
Estimation is concerned with inference about the numerical value of unknown population values from incomplete data, such as a sample. If a single figure is calc¬ulated for each unknown parameter, the process is called point estimation. If an interval is calculated within which the parameter is likely, in some sense, to lie, the process is called interval estimation.
Expenditures
Charges incurred, whether paid or unpaid, that are presumed to benefit the current fiscal year. For elementary and secondary schools, these include all charges for current outlays plus capital outlays and interest on school debt. For degree-granting institutions, these include current outlays plus capital outlays. For government, these include charges net of recoveries and other correcting transactions other than for retirement of debt, investment in securities, or extension of credit. Government expenditures include only external transactions, such as the provision of perquisites or other payments in kind. Aggregates for groups of governments exclude intergovernmental transactions.
Expenditures per pupil
Charges incurred for a particular period of time divided by a student unit of measure, such as average daily attendance or average daily membership.
Exponential smoothing
A method used in time series analysis to smooth or to predict a series. There are various forms, but all are based on the supposition that more remote history has less importance than more recent history.

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First-order serial correlation
When errors in one time period are correlated directly with errors in the ensuing time period. Also called autocorrelation.
First-professional degree
An award that requires completion of a program that meets all of the following criteria: (1) completion of the academic requirements to begin practice in the profession; (2) at least 2 years of college work prior to entering the program; and (3) a total of at least 6 academic years of college work to complete the degree program, including prior required college work plus the length of the professional program itself. First-professional degrees may be awarded in the following 10 fields: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.), Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), Law (L.L.B., J.D.), Medicine (M.D.), Optometry (O.D.), Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Podiatry (D.P.M., D.P., or Pod.D.), Theology (M.Div., M.H.L., B.D., or Ordination), Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.).
First-professional enrollment
The number of students enrolled in following degree programs: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.), Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), Law (L.L.B., J.D.), Medicine (M.D.), Optometry (O.D.), Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Podiatry (D.P.M., D.P., or Pod.D.), Theology (M.Div., M.H.L., B.D., or Ordination), Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.).
First-time freshman:
A student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. Includes students enrolled in academic or occupational programs. Also includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term, as well as students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school).
Forecast
An estimate of the future based on rational study and analysis of available pertinent data, as opposed to subjective prediction.
Forecasting
Assessing the magnitude that a quantity will assume at some future point in time, as distinct from “estimation,” which attempts to assess the magnitude of an already existent quantity.
Four-year institution
A postsecondary institution that offers programs of at least 4 years duration or one that offers programs at or above the baccalaureate level. Includes schools that offer postbaccalaureate certificates only or those that offer graduate programs only. Also includes free-standing medical, law or other first-professional schools.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment
A measurement equal to one student enrolled full time for one academic year. Total FTE enrollment includes full time plus the calculated equivalent of the part-time enrollment. The full-time equivalent of the part-time students can be estimated using different factors depending on the type and control of institution and level of student.
Full-time worker
In educational institutions, an employee whose position requires being on the job on school days throughout the school year at least the number of hours the schools are in session; for higher education, a member of an educational institution's staff who is employed full time.
Function
A mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set. A variable that depends on and varies with another.
Functional form
A mathematical statement of the relationship among the variables in a model.

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Graduate
An individual who has received formal recognition for the successful completion of a prescribed program of studies.
Graduate enrollment
The number of students who hold the bachelor's or first-professional degree, or the equivalent, and who are working towards a master's or doctor's degree. First-professional students are counted separately. These enrollment data measure those students who are registered at a particular time during the fall.

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Higher education
Study beyond secondary school at an institution that offers programs terminating in an associate's, baccalaureate, or higher degree.
Higher education institutions (traditional classifications)

4-year institution: An institution legally authorized to offer and offering at least a 4-year program of college-level studies wholly or principally creditable toward a bachelor's degree. A university is a postsecondary institution that typically includes one or more graduate professional schools.

2-year institution: An institution legally authorized to offer and offering at least a 2-year program of college-level studies that terminates in an associate's degree or is principally creditable toward a baccalaureate.

See also Degree-granting institutions and Postsecondary education.
High school
A secondary school offering the final years of high school work necessary for graduation, usually including grades 10, 11, and 12 (in a 6-3-3 plan) or grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 (in a 6-2-4 plan).
Hispanic
A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

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Independent variable
In regression analysis, a random variable, y, is expressed as a function of variables x1, x2,..., plus a stochastic term; the x’s are known as “independent variables."
Interpolation
See Linear interpolation.

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Lag
An event occurring at time t + k (k > 0) is said to lag behind an event occurring at time t, the extent of the lag being k. An event occurring k time periods before another may be regarded as having a negative lag
Linear interpolation
A method that allows the prediction of an unknown value if any two particular values on the same scale are known and the rate of change is assumed constant.

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Master's degree
An award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of 1 but not more than 2 academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree.
Mean absolute percentage error (MAPE)
The average value of the absolute value of errors expressed in percentage terms.
Model
A system of postulates, data, and inferences presented as a mathematical description of a phenomenon, such as an actual system or process. The actual phenomenon is represented by the model in order to explain, predict, and control it.

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Nonresident alien
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.
Ordinary least squares (OLS)
The estimator that minimizes the sum of squared residuals.
Parameter
A quantity that describes a statistical population.
Part-time enrollment
Undergraduate—A student enrolled for either 11 semester credits or less, or 11 quarter credits or less, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term. Graduate—A student enrolled for either 8 semester credits or less, or 8 quarter credits or less.
Personal income
Current income received by persons from all sources minus their personal contributions for social insurance. Classified as "persons" are individuals (including owners of unincorporated firms), nonprofit institutions serving individuals, private trust funds, and private noninsured welfare funds. Personal income includes transfers (payments not resulting from current production) from government and business such as social security benefits, military pensions, and so forth, but excludes transfers among persons.
Postbaccalaureate enrollment
number of students with a bachelor's degree who are enrolled in graduate-level or first-professional courses.
Postsecondary education
The provision of a formal instructional program whose curriculum is designed primarily for students who are beyond the compulsory age for high school. This includes programs whose purpose is academic, vocational, and continuing professional education, and excludes avocational and adult basic education programs.
Postsecondary education institution
An institution which has as its sole purpose or one of its primary missions, the provision of postsecondary education.
Private institution
A school or institution that is controlled by an individual or agency other than a state, a subdivision of a state, or the federal government (i.e., usually supported primarily by other than public funds) and the operation of whose program rests with other than publicly elected or appointed officials.
Projection
In relation to a time series, an estimate of future values based on a current trend.
Property tax
The sum of money collected from a tax levied against the value of property.
Public school or institution
A school or institution controlled and operated by publicly elected or appointed officials, and generally deriving its primary support from public funds.
Pupil/teacher ratio
The enrollment of pupils at a given period of time, divided by the full-time-equivalent number of classroom teachers serving these pupils during the same period.

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R2
The coefficient of determination; the square of the correlation coefficient between the dependent variable and its OLS estimate.
Race/ethnicity
Categories used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. A person may be counted in only one group. The groups used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens are as follows: Black, non-Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White, non-Hispanic.
Region
The four geographical regions of the United States as defined by the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce presented below:
Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Regression analysis
A statistical technique for investigating and modeling the relationship between variables.
Revenue receipts
Additions to assets that do not incur an obligation that must be met at some future date and do not represent exchanges of property for money. Assets must be available for expenditures.
Revenues
All funds received from external sources, net of refunds and correcting transactions. Noncash transactions such as receipt of services, commodities, or other receipts "in kind" are excluded, as are funds received from the issuance of debt, liquidation of investments, or nonroutine sale of property.
Rho
A measure of the correlation coefficient between errors in time period t and time period t minus 1.

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Salary
The total amount regularly paid or stipulated to be paid to an individual, before deductions, for personal services rendered while on the payroll of a business or organization.
School
A division of the school system consisting of students in one or more grades or other identifiable groups and organized to give instruction of a defined type. One school may share a building with another school or one school may be housed in several buildings.
Secondary instructional level
The general level of instruction provided for pupils in secondary schools (generally covering grades 7 through 12 or 9 through 12), and any instruction of a comparable nature and difficulty provided for adults and youth beyond the age of compulsory school attendance.
Secondary school
A school including any span of grades beginning with the next grade following elementary or middle school (usually 7, 8, or 9) and ending with or below grade 12. Both junior high schools and senior high schools are included.
Senior high school
A secondary school offering the final years of high school work necessary for graduation.
Serial correlation
Correlation of the error terms from different observations of the same variable. Also called autocorrelation.
Standard error of estimate
An expression for the standard deviation of the observed values about a regression line. An estimate of the variation likely to be encountered in making predictions from the regression equation.
Student
An individual for whom instruction is provided in an educational program under the jurisdiction of a school, school system, or other educational institution. No distinction is made between the terms "student" and "pupil", although "student" may refer to one receiving instruction at any level while "pupil" refers only to one attending school at the elementary or secondary level. The term "student" is used to include individuals at all instructional levels. A student may receive instruction in a school facility or in another location, such as at home or in a hospital. Instruction may be provided by direct student-teacher interaction or by some other approved medium, such as the Internet, television, radio, telephone, or correspondence.

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Tax base
The collective value of sales, assets, and income components against which a tax is levied.
Time series
A set of ordered observations on a quantitative characteristic of an individual or collective phenomenon taken at different points in time. Usually the observations are successive and equally spaced in time.
Time series analysis
The branch of quantitative forecasting in which data for one variable are examined for patterns of trend, seasonality, and cycle.
Two-year institution
A postsecondary institution that offers programs of at least 2 but less than 4 years duration. Includes occupational and vocational schools with programs of at least 1800 hours and academic institutions with programs of less than 4 years. Does not include bachelor's degree-granting institutions where the baccalaureate program can be completed in 3 years.
Undergraduate enrollment
The number of students enrolled in a 4- or 5-year bachelor's degree program, an associate's degree program, or a vocational or technical program below the baccalaureate.
Undergraduate students
Students registered at an institution of higher education who are working in a program leading to a baccalaureate or other formal award below the baccalaureate, such as an associate's degree.
Ungraded student (elementary/secondary)
A student who has been assigned to a school or program that does not have standard grade designations.
Variable
A quantity that may assume any one of a set of values.
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East (except those of Hispanic origin).

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