Definitions of Common Terms

Academic level

Undergraduate or graduate

Administrative employee

A person whose assignments require primary (and major) responsibility for management of the institution, or a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof.

Citizenship, country of

The country to which an individual acknowledges citizenship. Country of citizenship is not the same as country of permanent residence.

Class level

Students are classified on the basis of earned credits from all sources:

Freshmen: 0 - 29.9 credits

New freshmen: students enrolled in college for the first time as freshmen

Other freshmen: students who have been enrolled in college at the freshman level in the past and who are still freshmen based on their earned credits

Sophomores: 30 - 59.9 credits

Juniors: 60 - 89.9 credits

Seniors: 90 + credits

New graduates: students enrolled as graduate students for the first time

Other graduates: students who have been enrolled as graduate students in the past and who are still graduate students

Unclassified: students enrolled on a course-by-course basis in undergraduate or graduate classes as extramural (nondegree) students; students enrolled in certificate programs are included in this category

Common Data Set (CDS)

A standard set of questions and data definitions incorporated by four major college surveys (College Board, Wintergreen/Orchard House, Peterson's, and U.S. News & World Report) for use in leading guidebooks, rankings, and resources. The Common Data Set includes standardized questions about a college's academic offerings, enrollment, admission requirements, expenses, and freshman class profile.

Countries represented

Includes students' countries of citizenship or, for students who reside in countries of which they are not citizens, the countries in which they reside.

Faculty

Persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research, or public service as a principal activity (or activities), and who hold academic-rank titles of professor, instructor, lecturer, or the equivalent of any of these academic ranks. If their principal activity is instructional, deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or the equivalent) are included in this category.  Please see this more detailed summary of faculty definitions for more information.

First-time full-time students (FTFT)

Students enrolled in college for the first time as freshmen on a full-time basis.

Full-time employee

An employee who works a full week, 37.5 or 40 hours, depending on the department, on a 12-month schedule with anticipated continued employment.

Full-time equivalent (FTE)

FTE for undergraduate students is the sum of credit hours attempted divided by 12.
FTE for graduate students is the sum of credit hours attempted divided by 9.

Full-time student

Full-time refers to a semester course load of 12 or more credits for undergraduate students and a semester course load of 9 or more credits for graduate students.

Part-time employee

Persons on the payroll of the institution and classified by the institution as part-time.

Part-time student

Part-time refers to a semester course load of fewer than 12 credits for undergraduate students and a semester course load of fewer than 9 credits for graduate students.

Race / ethnicity

Categories 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. A person may be counted in only one group. The groups used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible noncitizens are:

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: (new category beginning spring 2010)  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.

Asian or Pacific Islander: (category used prior to spring 2010)  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Pacific Islands. This includes people from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, American Samoa, India, and Vietnam.

Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.  People who report that they are Hispanic or Latino are only reported in this category, as required by federal reporting guidelines.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: (new category beginning spring 2010)  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Two or more races: (new category beginning spring 2010)  This category includes people who report that two or more of the following racial categories best describe them: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

The following groups are used to categorize nonresident aliens and individuals for whom we lack information:

Nonresident Alien (NRA): 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.

Race/ethnicity unknown: Prior to 1996, "unknown" was not an accepted reporting category. In accordance with federal reporting guidelines, unknowns were statistically apportioned across race/ethnic categories in percentages consistent with the known population.

Note: All race / ethnicity definitions are those used by IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System).  The federal government adopted new race/ethnicity reporting categories during 2008, to be implemented by higher education institutions by 2010-11.  Ithaca College began using these new categories with student data during spring 2010.


Staff employee

Primary occupational activities of staff include technical, clerical, secretarial, skilled crafts, support, service, or maintenance. Primary occupational activity does not include major responsibility for management of the institution; does not include classroom instruction of tuition-paying students; and whose titles do not imply academic rank such as Professor, Associate or Assistant Professor, Lecturer, or Instructor.

Work study

Includes Federal Work-Study and IC Student Employment.