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12-month Enrollment (E12) Glossary

12-month enrollment (E12)
These data were collected in the Enrollment component prior to the 2007 IPEDS collection. Data are collected for the entire 12-month academic year, while enrollment data collected in the Fall Enrollment component are fall data. Institutions report an unduplicated head count for the total number of students by gender, attendance status (full-time, part-time), race/ethnicity, level (undergraduate, graduate, first-professional), first-time (entering), transfer-in (non-first-time entering), continuing/returning, and degree/certificate-seeking statuses enrolled throughout the reporting period. Students included are those enrolled in any courses leading to a degree or other recognized postsecondary credential, as well as those enrolled in courses that are part of a terminal vocational or occupational program. Institutions also report the total instructional activity for the same 12-month period for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Instructional activity data are reported in units of clock hours or credit hours.
12-month period
A 12-month period defined by an institution for reporting a full year of activity (All institutions must use the July 1 - June 30 reporting period). This time period should be consistent across all IPEDS data collections and from year-to-year.
4-1-4 (calendar system)
The 4-1-4 calendar usually consists of 4 courses taken for 4 months, 1 course taken for 1 month, and 4 courses taken for 4 months. There may be an additional summer term.
American Indian or Alaska Native
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Audit/auditing (a class)
Term used when a student elects to take a course, but does not wish to receive credit for the course toward a degree or other recognized postsecondary credential.
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 or African American
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Calculation of FTE students (using instructional activity)
The number of FTE students is calculated based on the credit and/or clock hours reported by the institution on the IPEDS 12-month enrollment (E12) component and the institution's calendar system, as reported on the IC Header component. The following table indicates the level of instructional activity used to convert the credit and/or clock hours reported to an indicator of full-time equivalents (FTE students):
   - Quarter calendar system
         - Enrollment level (One FTE over 12-month period)
               -Undergraduate 45 credit hours, 900 clock hours
               -Graduate 36 credit hours
   - Semester/trimester/4-1-4 plan/other calendar system
         -Enrollment level (one FTE over 12-month period)
               -Undergraduate 30 credit hours 900 clock hours
               -Graduate 24 credit hours
For institutions with continuous enrollment programs, FTE is determined by dividing the number of clock hours attempted by 900.

The total 12-month FTE is generated by summing the estimated or reported undergraduate FTE and the estimated or reported graduate FTE and reported Doctor's Professional Practice FTE.
Calendar system
The method by which an institution structures most of its courses for the academic year.
Clock hour
A period of time consisting of (1) A 50- to 60-minute class, lecture, or recitation in a 60-minute period; (2) A 50- to 60-minute faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training, or internship in a 60-minute period; or (3) Sixty minutes of preparation in a correspondence course.
Clock hour activity
The provision of coursework to students which can be measured in terms of clock hours.
Cohort year
The year that a cohort of students begins attending college.
Contact hour (old definition)
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as clock hour.
Continuing/Returning student (undergraduate)
A student who is not new to the institution in the fall, but instead is continuing his or her studies at the institution (i.e., not first-time and not transfer-in).
Continuous basis
A calendar system classification that is used by institutions that allow students to enroll/start classes at any time during the year. For example, a cosmetology school or a word processing school might allow students to enroll and begin studies at various times, with no requirement that classes begin on a certain date.
Credit
Recognition of attendance or performance in an instructional activity (course or program) that can be applied by a recipient toward the requirements for a postsecondary degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential, irrespective of the activity's unit of measurement.
Credit course
A course that, if successfully completed, can be applied toward the number of courses required for achieving a postsecondary degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential, irrespective of the activity's unit of measurement.
Credit hour
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential.
Credit hour activity
The provision of coursework to students which can be measured in terms of credit hours.
Degree/certificate-seeking students
Students enrolled in courses for credit who are seeking a degree, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential. This includes students who:
   - received any type of federal financial aid, regardless of what courses they took at any time;
   - received any state or locally based financial aid with an eligibility requirement that the student be enrolled in a degree, certificate, or transfer-seeking program; or
   - obtained a student visa to study at a U.S. postsecondary institution

High school students also enrolled in postsecondary courses for credit are not considered degree/certificate-seeking.
Differs by program (calendar system)
A calendar system classification that is used by institutions that have occupational/vocational programs of varying lengths. These schools may enroll students at specific times depending on the program desired. For example, a school might offer a 2-month program in January, March, May, September, and November; and a 3-month program in January, April, and October.
Distance education

Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.

Distance education course
A course in which the instructional content is delivered exclusively via distance education.  Requirements for coming to campus for orientation, testing, or academic support services do not exclude a course from being classified as distance education.
Distance education program
A program for which all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses.
Doctor's degree-professional practice
A doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice. The degree is awarded after a period of study such that the total time to the degree, including both pre-professional and professional preparation, equals at least six full-time equivalent academic years. Some of these degrees were formerly classified as first-professional and may include: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.); Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.); Law (J.D.); Medicine (M.D.); Optometry (O.D.); Osteopathic Medicine (D.O); Pharmacy (Pharm.D.); Podiatry (D.P.M., Pod.D., D.P.); or, Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), and others, as designated by the awarding institution.
Dual enrollment
Refers to students who enroll in college courses offered by an institution of higher education while enrolled in high school or seeking a recognized equivalent. Student performance is recorded on a college transcript and postsecondary credit is awarded for a passing grade in the course.
   Includes: All postsecondary courses, independent of course delivery mode, course location, course instructor, whether secondary credit is also offered, and whether the student enrolls through a formal state/local program or enrolls outside a formal state/local program.
   Excludes: Credit-by-exam models such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate in which the student is not enrolled in a postsecondary institution.
Enrolled for credit
Credit can be measured in units such as clock hours or credit hours. Credit is the recognition of attendance or performance in an instructional activity (course or program) that can be applied by a recipient toward the requirements for a postsecondary degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential, irrespective of the activity's unit of measurement.
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/non-certificate-seeking undergraduates entering in the fall.
First-time student (undergraduate)
A student who has no prior postsecondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This includes students enrolled in academic or occupational programs. It also includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term, and students who entered with advanced standing (college credits or recognized postsecondary credential earned before graduation from high school).
Full-time student
Undergraduate: A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more clock hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits, or 9 or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full-time by the institution. Doctor's degree - Professional practice - as defined by the institution.
Graduate student
A student who holds a bachelor's degree or above and is taking courses at the postbaccalaureate level. These students may or may not be enrolled in graduate programs.
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
Hispanic/Latino
A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Instructional activity
The total number of credit and clock hours all students are engaged in during the specified period.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), conducted by the NCES, began in 1986 and involves annual institution-level data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (throughout IPEDS referred to as "Title IV") are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS currently consists of the following components: Institutional Characteristics (IC); 12-month Enrollment (E12);Completions (C); Admissions (ADM); Student Financial Aid (SFA); Human Resources (HR) composed of Employees by Assigned Position, Fall Staff, and Salaries; Fall Enrollment (EF); Graduation Rates (GR); Outcome Measures (OM); Finance (F); and Academic Libraries (AL).
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Non-degree-seeking student
A student enrolled in courses for credit who is not recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or recognized postsecondary credential.
Non-first-time entering student (undergraduate)
A student who has prior postsecondary experience before attending the reporting IPEDS institution. This cohort of students may closely reflect the transfer-in (non-first-time entering) enrollment from Fall Enrollment (EF), 12-month Enrollment (E12) and Outcomes Measures (OM) components.
Noncredit course
A course or activity having no credit applicable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary credential.
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.
Other academic calendar system
Category used to describe "non-traditional" calendar systems at 4-year and 2-year degree-granting institutions. These can include schools that offer primarily on-line courses or "one course at a time."
Part-time student
Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 clock hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits.
Quarter (calendar system)
A calendar system in which the academic year consists of 3 sessions called quarters of about 12 weeks each. The range may be from 10 to 15 weeks as defined by the institution. There may be an additional quarter in the summer.
Race and ethnicity unknown
The category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.
Race/ethnicity
Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are 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. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

Individuals are asked to first designate ethnicity as:
   - Hispanic or Latino or
   - Not Hispanic or Latino

Second, individuals are asked to indicate all races that apply among the following:
   - American Indian or Alaska Native
   - Asian
   - Black or African American
   - Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
   - White
Recognized postsecondary credential
A recognized postsecondary credential includes any credential that is received after completion of a program that is eligible for Title IV federal student aid or that is awarded in recognition of an individual's attainment of measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry/occupation. These technical or industry/occupational skills generally are based on standards developed or endorsed by employers or industry associations.
Remedial courses
Instructional courses designed for students deficient in the general competencies necessary for a regular postsecondary curriculum and educational setting.
Resident alien (and other eligible non-citizens)
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States but who has been admitted as a legal immigrant for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident alien status (and who holds either an alien registration card (Form I-551 or I-151), a Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688), or an Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) with a notation that conveys legal immigrant status such as Section 207 Refugee, Section 208 Asylee, Conditional Entrant Parolee or Cuban-Haitian).
Semester (calendar system)
A calendar system that consists of two sessions called semesters during the academic year with about 15 weeks for each semester of instruction. There may be an additional summer term. Note: the standard term length range is defined by the Office of Postsecondary Education. More information can be found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/electronic-announcements/110519RevisionGuidelinesApplicableStandardTerms
Study abroad
Arrangement by which a student completes part of the college program studying in another country. Can be at a campus abroad or through a cooperative agreement with some other U.S. college or an institution of another country.
Summer Term
A summer term is typically not considered a full term. It is not the third term of an institution operating on a trimester system or the fourth term of an institution operating on a quarter calendar system. The institution may have two or more sessions occurring in the summer term. Some schools, such as vocational and beauty schools, have year-round classes with no separate summer term.
Title IV institution
An institution that has a written agreement with the Secretary of Education that allows the institution to participate in any of the Title IV federal student financial assistance programs (other than the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) programs).
Transfer-in (non-first-time entering) student
A student entering the reporting institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate, graduate). This includes new students enrolled in the fall term who transferred into the reporting institution the prior summer term. The student may transfer with or without credit. For systems of coordinated institutions (multi-campus system), students are to be identified as transfer-in students upon entering an institution from another institution within the same coordinated system.
Trimester (calendar system)
An academic year consisting of 3 terms of about 15 weeks each.
Undergraduate
A student 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.
Unduplicated count
The sum of students enrolled for credit with each student counted only once during the reporting period, regardless of when the student enrolled.
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
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The 12-month Enrollment count is the unduplicated headcount of students enrolled over a 12-month period. Because this enrollment measure encompasses an entire year, it provides a more complete picture of the number of students at non-traditional institutions that enroll students year round or for short-term programs.

Data collected include:

  • Unduplicated headcounts by level of student, race/ethnicity, and gender;
  • Instructional activity (total hours students are engaged in instruction); and
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment (calculated based on instructional activity).

FTE provides a meaningful combination of full- and part-time students across institutions that operate on different calendar systems and is used to calculate expenses per FTE and revenues per FTE.

Contact: Aida Ali Akreyi, Survey Director (contractor)

12-month enrollment