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Admissions (ADM) Glossary

ACT, previously known as the American College Testing program, measures educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework in English, mathematics, natural science, and social studies. Student performance does not reflect innate ability and is influenced by a student's educational preparedness.
This annual component is required of all currently operating Title IV postsecondary institutions in the United States and other areas that are do not have an open admissions policy. Eligibility for Admissions is determined using a screening question in the Institutional Characteristics Header component and open admissions institutions will not see the component. Admissions data are collected for the current fall reporting period. Data are collected on admissions requirements, the number of applicants, admitted students, the number of admitted students that subsequently enrolled, and percentiles for ACT and SAT test scores. The number of applicants, admitted, and enrolled students is disaggregated by gender; enrolled students are further disaggregated by part-time and full-time status. Prior to the 2014-15 data collection cycle, Admissions was part of the Institutional Characteristics components. In 2014-15, it became part of the Winter data collection.
Admissions test scores
Scores on standardized admissions tests or special admissions tests.
Admitted students
Applicants that have been granted an official offer to enroll in a postsecondary institution.
An individual who has fulfilled the institution's requirements to be considered for admission (including payment or waiving of the application fee, if any) and who has been notified of one of the following actions: admission, nonadmission, placement on waiting list, or application withdrawn by applicant or institution.
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.
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).
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.
Previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, this is an examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and used to predict the facility with which an individual will progress in learning college-level academic subjects.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The standardized test designed to determine an applicant's ability to benefit from instruction in English.
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).

Current Survey Changes

Table 5. Proposed Minor Changes to Admissions (ADM) Form

Changed instruction/FAQ/screen (where applicable; additions in red, deletions with strikethrough, rewording in blue)

SCREEN CHANGE (2 screens: Selection Process-Test scores and Admissions Information Screen)

- SAT Critical Reading SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

INSTRUCTION CHANGE (related to Selection Process-Test scores screen): SAT critical reading Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and math scores should be reported based on the new (2016) SAT score range 200-800. Institutions that have scores based on the old (2015) SAT score range should convert scores using the College Board concordance tables. If your institution is unable to convert test scores for any students, please omit them from reporting.

SCREEN CHANGE (Admissions Overview screen)

Add bullet under recent changes: SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and math scores should be reported based on the new (2016) SAT score range 200-800.

Basic information is collected from institutions that do not have an open admissions policy on the undergraduate selection process for first-time, degree/certificate-seeking students.

Data collected include:

  • Information about admissions considerations;
  • Acceptance rates;
  • Admission yields; and
  • SAT and ACT test scores (when test scores are required).

Contact: Roman Ruiz, Survey Director

Open admissions