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Fall Enrollment (EF) Glossary

Adjusted cohort
The result of removing any allowable exclusions from a cohort (or subcohort). For the Fall Enrollment component, it is the cohort for calculating retention rate; for the Graduation Rates component, this is the cohort from which graduation and transfer-out rates are calculated; and for the Outcome Measures component, these are the four cohorts (first-time, full-time; first-time, part-time; non-first-time, full-time; or non-first-time, part-time) for which outcomes rates are calculated at 4, 6, and 8 years.
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 formal award.
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.
Branch institution
A campus or site of an educational institution that is not temporary, is located in a community beyond a reasonable commuting distance from its parent institution, and offers full programs of study, not just courses.
CIP code
A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
A taxonomic coding scheme for secondary and postsecondary instructional programs. It is intended to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of program data using classifications that capture the majority of reportable data. The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.
Cohort
A specific group of students established for tracking purposes.
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).
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 formal award, 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 formal award, irrespective of the activity's unit of measurement.
Degree/certificate-seeking students
Students enrolled in courses for credit who are seeking a degree, certificate, or other formal award. 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.
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 credit
A program through which high school students are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, taught at their high school, that fulfill high school graduation requirements and may earn the student college credits .
Dual enrollment
A program through which high school students may enroll in college courses while still enrolled in high school. Students are not required to apply for admission to the college in order to participate.
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.
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.
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 postsecondary formal award 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 contact 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.
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 formal award.
Non-first-time 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 enrollment from Fall Enrollment (EF) component.
Noncredit course
A course or activity having no credit applicable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
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.
Off-campus centers (extension centers)
Sites 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.
Official fall reporting date
The date (in the fall) on which an institution must report fall enrollment data to either the state, its board of trustees or governing board, or some other external governing body.
Part-time student
Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits.
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
Remedial courses
Instructional courses designed for students deficient in the general competencies necessary for a regular postsecondary curriculum and educational setting.
Residence
A person's permanent address determined by such evidence as a driver's license or voter registration. For entering freshmen, residence may be the legal residence of a parent or guardian.
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).
Retention rate
A measure of the rate at which students persist in their educational program at an institution, expressed as a percentage. For four-year institutions, this is the percentage of first-time bachelors (or equivalent) degree-seeking undergraduates from the previous fall who are again enrolled in the current fall. For all other institutions this is the percentage of first-time degree/certificate-seeking students from the previous fall who either re-enrolled or successfully completed their program by the current fall.
State of residence
A person's permanent address as determined by such evidence as a driver's license or voter registration. For entering freshmen, state of residence may be the legal state of residence of a parent or guardian.
State unknown
Status used when the reporting institution is unable to determine from existing records the home state or residence of the student.
Student-to-faculty ratio
The ratio of FTE students to FTE instructional staff, i.e., students divided by staff.

Students enrolled in "stand-alone" graduate or professional programs and instructional staff teaching in these programs are excluded from both full-time and part-time counts.

"Stand-alone" graduate or professional programs are those programs such as medicine, law, veterinary, dentistry, social work, or public health, in which faculty teach virtually only graduate-level students (also referred to as "independent" programs).

Each FTE value is equal to the number of full-time students/staff plus 1/3 the number of part-time students/staff.
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 session
A summer session is shorter than a regular session and is not considered part of the academic year. 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 months. Some schools, such as vocational and beauty schools, have year-round classes with no separate summer session.
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 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 institution the prior summer term. The student may transfer with or without credit.
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.
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
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Current Survey Changes

Table 7. Proposed Minor Changes to Fall Enrollment (EF) Form

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

INSTRUCTION CHANGE: Full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students in column 1, report undergraduate students who have no prior postsecondary experience and have enrolled full-time with the intent to earn a degree, certificate, or other formal award. The following are also considered first-time:
·   Students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer session (applicable to academic reporters only)
·   Students who entered with advanced standing (any college credits or postsecondary formal award earned before graduation from high school)

GLOSSARY CHANGE: First-time student (undergraduate) - A student who has no prior postsecondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institutions 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 advance standing (college credits or postsecondary formal award earned before graduation from high school).

CHANGE FAQ : 1) What is NOT considered "prior postsecondary experience" when reporting first-time students?
·   Credit for military service/training from an association such as the American Council on Education,
·   Credit from any non-credit courses, as defined by the institution,
·   Credit received for completion of test/assessments,
·   Credit received before the student earned a high school diploma (i.e., AP or dual enrollment credits),
·   Postsecondary award received before the students earned a high school diploma (e.g., certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, etc.), or
·   Credit for life experience.
Students with prior postsecondary experience credit from attending a military academic institution (e.g., Community College of the Air Force, West Point, U.S. Naval Academy, etc.) would NOT be considered first-time students.

NEW FAQ: How do I report a student who earned a postsecondary award while in high school (a dual enrolled student) and has now graduated high school and enrolled in my institution in the Fall?
If the postsecondary award was earned prior to the student graduating high school, then this student would be considered a first-time student in the Fall. The definition of "first-time" allows for students to still be classified as first-time if the degree was earned prior to their high school graduation. (Applies only to academic reporters)

Fall enrollment is a measure of student access to higher education at traditional institutions. Data are collected for all students enrolled in credit-bearing courses/programs which could potentially lead to awards ranging from postsecondary certificates of less than 1 year to doctoral degrees.

Data collected include:

  • Full- and part-time students enrolled in the fall by level, race/ethnicity, and gender;
  • Residence and high school graduation status of first-time undergraduate students (in even years);
  • Age of students (in odd years);
  • First-time retention rates;
  • Student-to-faculty ratio; and
  • Students enrolled in distance education.

In even-numbered years, four-year institutions are also required to provide enrollment data by level, race/ethnicity, and gender for 9 selected fields of study for the Office for Civil Rights.

Contact: Roman Ruiz, Survey Director