Glossary of Data Terminology

25th percentileThe score at or below which 25 percent of students submitting test scores to an institution scored.      
75th percentileThe score above which 25 percent of students submitting test scores to an institution scored.                
Admitted studentApplicant who is offered official admission to a degree-granting program at Hampton University.
Bachelor’s degreeAn 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.
Carnegie unitsOne year of study or the equivalent in secondary school subject.
CohortA specific group of students established for tracking purposes.
CreditRecognition 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.
DegreeAn award conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies.
Degree-seeking studentsStudents enrolled in courses for credit who are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award. 
Doctor’s degreeThe highest award a student can earn for graduate study.
Doctor’s degree – Research/ScholarshipA Ph.D. or other doctor’s degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement.
Doctor’s degree – Professional PracticeA doctor‚Äôs ¬†degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice. (Equals at least six full-time equivalent academic years.) Some of these degrees were formerly classified as first-professional.
Enrollment countThe number of individuals for whom instruction is provided in an educational program under the jurisdiction of a school or educational institution.  
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/certificate seeking undergraduates entering in the fall.                                                                       
Fall cohortThe group of students entering in the fall term established for tracking purposes. For the Graduation Rates component, this includes all students who enter an institution as full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate students during the fall term of a given year.
First-time, first-year (freshman) studentA student who has no prior postsecondary experience (attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level).  Includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. 
First-year studentA student who has completed less than the equivalent of 1 full year of undergraduate work; that is less than 30 semester hours (in a 120-hour degree program).
Full-time studentUndergraduate – A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits each term.
 Graduate РA student enrolled for 9 or more semester 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 studentA student who holds a bachelor’s degree or above and is taking courses at the post-baccalaureate level.
HeadcountUnduplicated head count for the total number of students by gender, race/ethnicity, and level (undergraduate, graduate, first-professional) enrolled throughout the reporting period.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as
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.
Master’s degreeAn award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of 1 but not more than 2 academic years of work beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Non-resident alienA 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.
Non-degree-seeking studentA student enrolled in courses for credit who is not recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award.
Off-campus housingAny housing facility that is occupied by students but is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
On-campus housingAny residence hall or housing facility owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes. ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
Part-time studentUndergraduate РA student enrolled for either less than 12 semesters each term.   
 Graduate РA student enrolled for less than 9 semester credits.
Post-master’s certificateAn award that requires completion of an organized program of study equivalent to 24 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctor’s level.
Private institutionAn educational institution controlled by a private individual(s) or by a nongovernmental agency, usually supported primarily by other than public funds, and operated by other than publicly elected or appointed officials. These institutions may be either for-profit or not-for-profit.
ProgramA combination of courses and related activities organized for the attainment of broad educational objectives as described by the institution.
Retention RateA 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
Student countsThe number of individuals for whom instruction is provided in an educational program under the jurisdiction of a school or educational institution.
Student-to-faculty ratioThe ratio of FTE students to FTE instructional staff, i.e., students divided by staff.
Tuition and fees (published charges)The amount of tuition and required fees covering a full academic year most frequently charged to students. These values represent what a typical student would be charged and may not be the same for all students at an institution. I
Unclassified studentA student taking courses creditable toward a degree or other formal award who cannot be classified by academic level. For example, this could include a transfer student whose earned credits have not been determined at the time of the fall report.
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 countThe sum of students enrolled for credit with each student counted only once during the reporting period, regardless of when the student enrolled.

Source:    Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2013-2014 Glossary (8/16/2013)  Retrieved from (