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Institutional Research

Fact Book 2016-2017

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The following definitions are taken directly from the U.S. Department of Education’s NCES/IPEDS Web site. For more definitions, use IPEDS Web site:

Degree: An award conferred by a college, university or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies.

First-year: A student who has completed less than the equivalent of one full year of undergraduate work; that is, less than 30 semester hours (in a 120-hour degree program) or less than 900 contact hours.

Freshman: A first-year undergraduate student.

Full-time Equivalent: A measurement equal to one student enrolled full-time for one academic year. Total FTE enrollment includes full-time plus the calculated equivalent of the part-time enrollment. The full-time equivalent of the part-time students can be estimated using different factors depending on the type and control of institution and level of student.

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 nine or more semester credits, or nine or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full-time by the institution.

Graduate: A student who holds a bachelor's or first-professional degree or equivalent, and is taking courses at the post-baccalaureate level. These students may or may not be enrolled in graduate programs.

Graduation Rate: The rate required for disclosure and/or reporting purposes under Student Right-to-Know policy. This rate is calculated as the total number of completers within 150 percent of normal time divided by the revised cohort minus any allowable exclusion.

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 bachelor’s (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.

Undergraduate: A student enrolled in a four- or five-year bachelor's degree program, an associate's degree program or a vocational or technical program below the baccalaureate.