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Technical Notes: Definitions of Analysis Variables

  • Institutional control and level: public 2-year, private nonprofit 2-year, private for-profit 2-year, public 4- year, private nonprofit 4-year, private for-profit 4-year. This analysis variable was created from a combination of level (2-year, 4-year) and control (public, private nonprofit, private for-profit). Two-year institutions are defined as institutions at which the program is at least 2 but less than 4 years (below the baccalaureate degree); 4-year institutions are those at which the program is 4 or more years (baccalaureate or higher degree).13 Data for private nonprofit 2-year and private for-profit 2-year institutions are included in the totals and in analyses by size of institution but are not shown separately in the tables.
  • Institution size: less than 3,000 students (small); 3,000 to 9,999 students (medium); and 10,000 or more students (large). The institution size categories reflect the enrollment categories used to determine an approximately optimum allocation of the sample and provide roughly equal numbers of sample institutions for each of the three broad size categories for robust statistical reporting.

13 Definitions for level are from the data file documentation for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Institutional Characteristics file, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.