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.


The gender of a student or faculty member. An ‘M’ denotes male and an ‘F’ denotes female.

Graduation Rate

The percentage of a given college-entering cohort of degree-seeking students who graduate in a specific period of time, normally six years. For purposes of the “Baccalaureate Graduation Rates – First-Time-Entering Undergraduates” and “Baccalaureate Graduation Rates – First-Time-Entering Freshmen,” the cohort consists of fall first-time, full-time undergraduates (or freshmen) plus summer first-time students who continue in the fall and are full time in the fall. The summer students need not be full time in the summer. They are evaluated for full-time status based on their fall enrollment. For two-year institutions, it is the students who graduate with an associate degree or certificate within three years. For four-year institutions, it is the students who graduate with a baccalaureate degree within six years.