You may encounter unfamiliar industry- or data-specific terminology throughout our reports. The glossary terms and definitions below are provided to add clarity and context to your experience. Filter alphabetically below to find the term you are looking for.

American Indian or Alaskan Native

The race of a person who has origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment.


The race of a person who has 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.

Associate Degree

An award that normally requires at least two but less than four years of full-time equivalent college work in a grouping of courses designed to lead the individual directly to employment in a specific career or to transfer to an upper-level baccalaureate program. This specifically refers to the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and Associate of Occupational Studies degrees. The term "applied" in an associate degree name indicates a program in which the content is primarily technical.

Award Amount

Amount of tuition and fees a student did not pay as a result of exemption/waiver.

Bachelor’s Degree

This award normally requires at least four but not more than five years of full-time equivalent college-level work. This includes all bachelor’s degrees conferred in a five-year cooperative education (work-study) program as well as degrees in which the normal four years of work are completed in three years.

Black or African-American

The race of a person who has origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.


A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program.

Cost of Attendance

Affordable tuition and the cost of attendance, including fixed expenses (e.g., tuition and fees) and reasonable living expenses for the nine months students are enrolled for the fall and spring semesters. Individual expenses will vary based on student-specific living arrangements, whether they intend to borrow federal student loans, and personal spending decisions.

Doctoral Degree

An academic degree beyond the level of a master’s degree that typically represents the highest level of formal study or research in a given field. The doctor’s degree classification includes, but is not limited to, such degrees as Doctor of Education, Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of Public Health, and Doctor of Philosophy in any field such as agronomy, food technology, education, engineering, public administration, radiology, or ophthalmology.

Federal Pell

The U.S. Department of Education will uses a family's income and expenses to calculate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). To be eligible for the Pell Grant for the 2021-2022 academic year, a student's EFC needs to be at or below $5,846. Because of this, there is no set income cutoff for Pell Grant eligibility.