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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
E-books E-books are digital documents (including those digitized by the library), where searchable text is prevalent, and which can be seen in analogy to a printed book (monograph). E-books are loaned to users on portable devices (e-book readers) or by transmitting the contents to the user’s personal computer for a limited time.
E-media E-media materials are media materials that are in digital format and are available for download or streaming. Include digital graphic materials.
Early action An admission plan that allows students to apply and be notified of an admission decision well in advance of the regular notification dates. If admitted, the candidate is not committed to enroll (unlike early decision). Students may reply to the offer under the college's regular reply policy.
Early admission A policy under which students who have not completed high school are admitted to and enrolled full-time in college, usually after completion of their junior year.
Early decision A plan that allows students to apply and be notified of an admission decision (and financial aid offer, if applicable) well in advance of the regular notification date. Applicants agree to accept an offer of admission and, if admitted, to withdraw their applications from other colleges. There are three possible decisions in response to such an application: admitted, denied, or not admitted but forwarded for consideration with the regular applicant pool, without prejudice.
Educational offerings Educational programs offered by postsecondary institutions that are occupational, academic, or continuing professional that qualify as postsecondary education programs OR recreational or avocational, adult basic, remedial instruction, high school equivalency, or high school programs that are not deemed postsecondary.
Employees by Assigned Position (EAP)

This data, now part of the Human Resources (HR) component of IPEDS, was previously a separate collection. It was instituted in 2001-02 as a response to a proposal by the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative focus group on faculty and staff. It allows institutions to "assign" all faculty and staff to distinct categories. The EAP collects information on all employees on the institution's payroll as of November 1 of the reporting year, by full- and part-time status; by function or occupational category; and by faculty status and tenure status. Institutions with medical schools are required to report their medical school employees separately.

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


Employer Identification Number (EIN) The number assigned to an institution by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes.
Employment services for current students Activities intended to assist students in obtaining part-time employment as a means of defraying part of the cost of their education.
Endowment assets Gross investments of endowment funds, term endowment funds, and funds functioning as endowment for the institution and any of its foundations and other affiliated organizations.
Endowment funds Funds whose principal is nonexpendable (true endowment) and that are intended to be invested to provide earnings for institutional use. Also includes term endowments and funds functioning as endowment.
Endowment income Endowment income includes: (1) the unrestricted income of endowment and similar funds; (2) restricted income of endowment and similar funds to the extent expended for current operating purposes, and (3) income from funds held in trust by others under irrevocable trusts. Excludes capital gains or losses unless the institution has adopted a spending formula by which it expends not only the yield but also a prudent portion of the appreciation of the principal. Does not include gains spent for current operations, which are treated as transfers.
Entering students (undergraduate) Students at the undergraduate level, both full-time and part-time, coming into the institution for the first time in the fall term (or the prior summer term who returned again in the fall). This includes all first-time undergraduate students, students transferring into the institution at the undergraduate level for the first time, and non-degree/certificate seeking undergraduates entering in the fall.
Equipment Moveable tangible property such as research equipment, vehicles, machinery, and office equipment that meets the institution's capitalization policy for capital assets.
Equity The excess of a private, for-profit institution's assets over its liabilities. It is the claim or stake of the owners.
Exclusions Those students who may be removed (deleted) from a cohort (or subcohort). For the Graduation Rates, Outcome Measures , and Fall Enrollment retention rate reporting, students may be removed from a cohort if they left the institution for one of the following reasons: death or total and permanent disability; service in the armed forces (including those called to active duty); service with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; or service on official church missions. Student Right-to-Know Act
Executive, administrative, and managerial

A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose assignments require management of the institution, or a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof. 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 employees holding titles such as: top executives; chief executives; general and operations managers; advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers; operations specialties managers; administrative services managers; computer and information systems managers; financial managers; human resources managers; purchasing managers; postsecondary education administrators such as: presidents, vice presidents (including assistants and associates), deans (including assistants and associates) if their principal activity is administrative and not primarily instruction, research or public service, directors (including assistants and associates), department heads (including assistants and associates) if their principal activity is administrative and not primarily instruction, research or public service, assistant and associate managers (including first-line managers of service, production and sales workers who spend more than 80 percent of their time performing supervisory activities); engineering managers; food service managers; lodging managers; and medical and health services managers.

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

Expenses The outflow or other using up of assets or incurrence of liabilities (or a combination of both) from delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or carrying out other activities that constitute the institution's ongoing major or central operations or in generating revenues. Alternatively, expenses may be thought of as the costs of goods and services used to produce the educational services provided by the institution. Expenses result in a reduction of net assets.
Extension centers Sites or centers 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.
Extension division A unit of the institution that provides institutional services including the planning, organization, and delivery of extended campus offerings. To carry out these activities, it generally maintains its own enrollment, personnel, and financial records separate from those of the main institution (although an institution may include these records in its own institutional data base). It does not grant either degree-credit or degrees , but these may be awarded by the institution for instruction provided through the extension division.


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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education