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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
Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Federally insured loans to students attending eligible health professions schools. Section 730 of the Public Health Service Act requires HEAL schools to maintain records on student loans granted under this program.
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations An occupational category based on the major group in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual called "Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations." For detailed information refer to the following website:
High school diploma or recognized equivalent A document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed secondary school program of studies, or any of the following:
•recognized attainment of satisfactory scores on the GED or another state-authorized examination
•recognized completion of homeschooling at the secondary level as defined by state law
•completion of secondary school education in a homeschool setting which qualifies for an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law, if state law does not require a homeschooled student to receive credential for their education
High school student A student enrolled in secondary school or pursuing a high school diploma or recognized equivalent . Includes students who have not received but are pursuing a high school diploma or recognized equivalent and taking college coursework concurrently.
Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) The Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) system was conducted by the NCES between 1966 and 1985. This system was comprised of several surveys of institutions that were accredited at the college level by an agency recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. These surveys collected institution-level data on such topics as institutional characteristics, enrollment, degrees conferred, salaries, employees, financial statistics, libraries, and others. HEGIS surveys were sent to approximately 3,400 accredited institutions of higher education.
Hispanic (old definition) A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) The Higher Education Act, 20 USCA Section 1101a defines a Hispanic-serving institution as an institution of higher education that (a) is an eligible institution; (b) at the time of application, has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students; and (c) provides assurances that not less than 50 percent of the institution's Hispanic students are low-income individuals. Note: low income is defined as 150% of the poverty level as determined by the Bureau of the Census at
Hispanic/Latino A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: "...any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation." Federal regulations (20 USC 1061 (2)) allow for certain exceptions to the founding date.
Home study Method of instruction designed for students who live at a distance from the teaching institution. Instructional materials are provided to the student through various media with structured units of information, assigned exercises for practice, and examinations to measure achievement, which in turn are submitted to the teaching institution for evaluation, grade assignment, and the awarding of credit.
Hospital services Expenses associated with a hospital operated by the postsecondary institution (but not as a component unit) and reported as a part of the institution. This classification includes nursing expenses, other professional services, general services, administrative services, and fiscal services. Also included are information technology expenses, actual or allocated costs for operation and maintenance of plant, interest and depreciation related to hospital capital assets.
Hospitals (revenues) Revenues generated by a hospital operated by the postsecondary institution. Includes gifts, grants, appropriations, research revenues, endowment income, and revenues of health clinics that are part of the hospital unless such clinics are part of the student health services program. Sales and service revenues are included net of patient contractual allowances. Revenues associated with the medical school are included elsewhere. Also includes all amounts appropriated by governments (federal, state, local) for the operation of hospitals.
Housing capacity The maximum number of students for which an institution can provide residential facilities, whether on or off campus.
Housing plan (restricted)

A fringe benefit that restricts beneficiaries to receive housing support only in institution-owned housing.

Term used prior to 2011-12 in the Human Resources component.


Human resources (HR) This component of IPEDS was formed in 2006 by combining three previously separate components: Employees by Assigned Position (EAP), Fall Staff (S), and Salaries (SA). This was done to avoid (or at least reduce) conflicting data which had occurred when collected separately. The information collected has remained basically the same, and the frequency of collection remains the same, i.e., the fall staff data is collected biennially in odd-numbered years.


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