Academic Program An instructional program leading toward an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s, or first-professional degree or resulting in credits that can be applied to one of these degrees.  
Academic Support  A functional expense category that includes expenses of activities and services that support the institution’s primary missions of instruction, research, and public service. It includes the retention, preservation, and display of educational materials (for example, libraries, museums, and galleries); organized activities that provide support services to the academic functions of the institution (such as a demonstration school associated with a college of education or veterinary and dental clinics if their primary purpose is to support the instructional program); media such as audiovisual services; academic administration (including academic deans but not department chairpersons); and formally organized and separately budgeted academic personnel development and course and curriculum development expenses. Also included are information technology expenses related to academic support activities; if an institution does not separately budget and expense information technology resources, the costs associated with the three primary programs will be applied to this function and the remainder to institutional support. Under FASB standards this includes actual or allocated costs for operation and maintenance of plant, interest, and depreciation. Under GASB standards this does not include operation and maintenance of plant or interest but may include depreciation expense.  
Academic Year IPEDS report definition: The period of time generally extending from September to June; usually equated to 2 semesters or trimesters, 3 quarters, or the period covered by a 4-1-4 calendar system.  
Accrediting Bodies  Organizations (or agencies) that establish operating standards for educational or professional institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and publicly announce their findings. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the University’s institutional accreditation body.  
ACT ACT, previously known as the American College Testing program, measures educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework in English, mathematics, natural science, and social studies. Student performance does not reflect innate ability and is influenced by a student’s educational preparedness.  
Adjunct Faculty  Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis. Includes both faculty who are hired to teach an academic degree-credit course and those hired to teach a remedial, developmental, or ESL course; whether the latter three categories earn college credit is immaterial. Excludes regular part-time faculty (who, unlike adjuncts are not paid on a course-by-course basis), graduate assistants, full-time professional staff of the institution who may teach individual courses (such as a dean or academic advisor), and appointees who teach non-credit courses exclusively.  
Adjusted Cohort In the Graduation Rates component of IPEDS, an institution’s revised cohort minus any allowable exclusions.  
A & P (Administrative and Professional) Defined in employee contracts and usually includes Executive, administrative, and managerial; other professionals, according to IPEDS primary occupational activity definition.  
Administrative Unit  Various offices responsible non-academic activities.  
Admissions (students admitted) Applicants that have been granted an official offer to enroll in a postsecondary institution.  
Admissions test scores Scores on standardized admissions tests or special admissions tests.  
Advanced placement (AP) courses College-level courses taught in high school. Students may take an examination at the completion of the course; acceptable scores allow students to earn college credit toward a degree, certificate, or other formal award.  
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. American Indian or Alaska Native (old definition) Race/ethnicity (new definition)
Adult Learner  Students that are 25 years of age and older.  
Applicant  An individual who has fulfilled the institution’s requirements to be considered for admission (including payment or waiving of the application fee, if any) and who has been notified of one of the following actions: admission, nonadmission, placement on waiting list, or application withdrawn by applicant or institution.  
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. Asian/Pacific Islander (old definition) Race/ethnicity (new definition)
Associate Degree  An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.  
Athletically-related student aid Any scholarship, grant, or other form of financial assistance, offered by an institution, the terms of which require the recipient to participate in a program of intercollegiate athletics in order to be eligible to receive such assistance.  
Automatic peer group A group of institutions generated by the Peer Analysis System (PAS) for comparison purposes. The PAS can automatically generate a group of peer institutions based on pre-selected characteristics. LinchPin (institution) Comparison group
Auxiliary enterprises expenses Expenses for essentially self-supporting operations of the institution that exist to furnish a service to students, faculty, or staff, and that charge a fee that is directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the service. Examples are residence halls, food services, student health services, intercollegiate athletics (only if essentially self-supporting), college unions, college stores, faculty and staff parking, and faculty housing. Includes depreciation related to auxiliary enterprises (if separately assigned by the institution). FASB institutions also charge or allocate interest expense to auxiliary enterprises.