University Planning and Research
University Planning and Research

Institutional Research Glossary

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Term sort ascending Definition
Academic Career
Five academic careers categorize students based on the degree program being pursued. These include undergraduate, master’s level quarter, master’s level semester, doctoral level quarter and doctoral level semester.
Academic Level
A designation given to undergraduate students based on the number of credits earned at the undergraduate level. Academic levels of undergraduate students include freshman (<30 credit hours), sophomore (30 - 59.99 credit hours), junior (60-89.99 credit hours) and senior (90+ credit hours). The GR designation identifies both graduate and doctoral students with the same academic level designation.
Academic Load
A categorization based on the number of credits in which a student is enrolled in a given term. A student's academic load is either full-time or part-time.
Academic Rank
The ranks to which regular, professional and term faculty are classified are: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. The ranks to which adjunct faculty, who are associate faculty, are classified are: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer.
Academic Year
The regular academic year includes the Fall, Winter and Spring terms.
Acceptance Rate
The percentage of students who apply and are accepted to Benedictine University.
Acceptances
The number of students who apply and are accepted to Benedictine University.
Accredidation and Membership
The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Illinois State Board of Education Teacher Certification Section, and the Organizational Development Institute. The University’s chemistry program is approved to grant American Chemical Society accredited degrees.
ACT Composite Score
The mean score of the four ACT subtests. Scores range from 1 to 36. Tests include English, Mathematics, Reading and Science.
ACT Subtest Score
Scores of the four ACT subtests ranging from 1 to 36. Tests include English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The Writing subset scores range from 2 to 12.
Actual Expenditure
The amount spent on operating expenses within a fiscal year.
Actual Revenue
The amount earned through operations, gifts and endowment spending.
Admitted Students
Applicants that have been granted an official offer to enroll at the institution.
Alumni Giving Rate
The percentage of alumni who give financial donations to Benedictine University.
American Indian or Alaska Native
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
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, non-admission, placement on waiting list or application withdrawn (by applicant or institution).
Application Rate
The percentage of prospects who apply for admission to Benedictine University. For freshmen, this rate is derived by dividing the number of high school seniors in the Benedictine prospect pool by the number of freshman applications received.  In addition to tracking freshman applications, applications are tracked for adult students and transfer students.
Asian
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian Subcontinent, including Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Asian/Pacific Islander (old IPEDS definition)
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 Philippines, American Samoa, India and Vietnam.
Athletes
Students who participate in varsity athletics as athletes.
Athletes with Aid
Students on athletic scholarships who participate in varsity athletics.
Bachelor's Degree
An award (baccalaureate or equivalent degree, as determined by the Secretary of Education) that 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 (work study) program.
Black or African American
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Budgeted Expenditure
Planned spending of budgeted fiscal year revenue.
Budgeted Revenue
An estimated amount that will be earned through operations, gifts and endowment spending.
Capital Structure
Unrestriced and temporarily restricted net assets.
Census (semester census)
The date in a semester when an official snapshot of institutional data is taken. It is used for official institutional and other reporting. IPEDS census date is October 15.
Certificate (graduate)
A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a combination of courses and related activities.
CIP Code
A six-digit code in the format xx-xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
A taxonomic coding scheme for postsecondary instructional programs. Intended to facilitate the organization, collection and reporting of program data using classifications that capture the majority of reportable data. The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.
Class Section
A class section is an organized course identified by subject and catalog.
Class Size
A categorization of class sections based on the number of students enrolled in the class section.
Clock Hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as contact hour.
Cohort
A group of students established for tracking purposes.
Commitment
Benedictine University’s mission and vision reflect its Catholic and Benedictine identity, providing continuity with the past and a direction for the future.
Common Data Set (CDS)
The Common Data Set is a collaborative effort among university data providers and publishers to report accurate university information on a wide variety of topics. Each CDS reports on general university statistics relating to student enrollment and persistence, financial aid, annual student expenses, student life, academic offerings and policies, as well as instructional faculty counts and class sizes.
Commuter
A student who lives off campus in housing that is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the college. This category includes students who commute from off-campus.
Completer
A student who receives a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. In order to be considered a completer, the degree/award must actually be conferred.
Consortial Arrangements
Benedictine University cooperates with Aurora University and North Central College by providing the opportunity for students to enroll in courses at these other colleges.
Contact Hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as a clock hour.
Continuing/Returning Student (undergraduate)
A student who is not new to the institution but instead is continuing his or her studies at the institution at the same degree level. (i.e., not first time and not transfer-in). This includes re-entry students.
Course Level
Courses are grouped into three levels: lower undergraduate, upper undergraduate and graduate/professional.
Credit Hour
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate or other formal award.
Credit Load
The number of credits for which a student is enrolled in a term, where a credit represents a recognition of attendance or performance in an instructional activity (course or program) that can be applied by a recipient toward the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Default Rate
The rate at which debt holders default on the amount of money that they owe.
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. Benedictine offers associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees.
Deposit
An amount of money paid by new undergraduate students (freshmen and transfers) to secure a place in the incoming class. Deposits can be for housing or tuition. Housing and tuition deposits are refundable up to and including May 1.
Diploma
A formal document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed program of studies.
Discounts and Allowances
Institutional funds used to pay institutional charges such as tuition and fees or room and board charges.
Dual Credit
A program through which high school students are enrolled in courses (AP courses or otherwise, taught at their high school, that fulfill high school graduation requirements and earn the student college credits).
Dual Enrollment
A program through which high school students may enroll in college courses while still enrolled in high school. Students are not required to apply for admission to the college in order to participate.
Endowment Market Value
The sum of cash earnings on investments, such as dividends and interest, plus the realized or unrealized appreciation or depreciation in the market value of those investments during a fiscal year.
Ethnic Minority Students
Students who are members of one of the following racial or ethnic groups: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Two or More Races. These categories apply to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Expenditures (budgeted and actual)
The amount of money that is spent on goods and services for the University.
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Board Only (charges)
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses.  Includes average cost for 19 meals per week or the maximum meal plan.
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Books and Supplies (costs)
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses.  Average cost of books and supplies. Does not include unusual costs for special groups of students (e.g., engineering or art majors), unless they constitute the majority of students at your institution.
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Other (costs)
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses. Includes average costs for clothing, laundry, entertainment, medical (if not a required fee), and furnishings.
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Room And Board Charges - On Campus
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses.  Assumes double occupancy in institutional housing and 19 meals per week (or maximum meal plan).
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Room Only (charges)
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses.  Assumes double occupancy in institutional housing.
Expenses for Full-Time UG - Transportation Costs
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses.  Assumes two round trips to student’s hometown per year for students in institutional housing or daily travel to and from the institution for commuter students.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, ensures that all eligible individuals have access to federally funded or federally guaranteed financial assistance for education beyond high school.
Fall Term Census
On October 15, a "snapshot" of the enrollment and demographic data is taken. This data is used for enrollment and survey reporting throughout the academic year.
Financial Aid
Federal work study, grants, loans to students (government and/or private), assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, tuition waivers, tuition discounts, employer aid (tuition reimbursement) and other monies (other than from relatives/friends) provided to students to meet expenses. This excludes loans to parents.
First-Time Full-Time Freshmen
A student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level and who is in a full-time status as of the census date. This is the cohort group used to calculate retention and graduation rates.
First-Time Student (undergraduate)
A student who has no prior postsecondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level.  This includes students enrolled in academic or occupational programs. It also includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term, and students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school).
Fiscal Year
A 12-month period in which an organization plans to use its funds. Benedictine’s fiscal year begins every June 1 and ends May 31 of the following year.
Five-Year Graduation Rate
The percentage of students in a given cohort graduating within a five-year period minus any allowable exclusions (six years is the typical standard for measuring a first-time, full-time cohort's graduation rate). The number of students in the cohort is the denominator of the rate; the number of students graduating is the numerator of the rate.
Four-Year Graduation Rate
The percentage of students in a given cohort graduating within a four-year period minus any allowable exclusions (six years is the typical standard for measuring a first-time, full-time cohort's graduation rate). The number of students in the cohort is the denominator of the rate; the number of students graduating is the numerator of the rate.
Freshman
A first-year undergraduate student with fewer than 30 credit hours earned.
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)
The total number of students classified as full-time plus one-third the total number of students classified as part-time.
Full Time Student (Academic definition)
Federal guidelines define full-time undergraduate as those who are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester, and full-time graduate students as those who are enrolled in nine or more credit hours in a term.
Gift Assistance
A monetary award given to students to help alleviate the costs of tuition and other academic expenses that does not need to be repaid. This includes grants or scholarships received by the student, including federal, state, institutional and private. Athletics and tuition remission are also included.
Graduate Assistants
Graduate-level students employed on a part-time basis for the primary purpose of assisting in classroom or laboratory instruction or in the conduct of research. Graduate students having titles such as graduate assistant, teaching assistant, teaching associate, teaching fellow, or research assistant typically hold these positions.
Graduate Student
A student who holds a bachelor's degree or above and is taking courses at the post-baccalaureate level. These students may or may not be enrolled in graduate programs.
Graduating Student Survey
A survey that measures achievement of learning outcomes, student's levels of satisfaction and post-graduation plans.
Graduation Rate
The rate required for disclosure and/or reporting purposes under Student Right-to-Know Act. This rate is calculated as the total number of completers within 150 percent of normal time divided by the revised adjusted cohort.
Graduation Rate 200
The rate required for disclosure and/or reporting purposes under Student Right-to-Know Act. This rate is calculated as the total number of completers within 200 percent of normal time divided by the revised adjusted cohort.
Headcount Enrollment
The count of student "heads" enrolled in at least one class for credit regardless of academic load or degree status.
High School Class Percentile
A student's rank in her/his high school graduating class. It is determined by dividing a student's GPA ranking in her/his total graduation class by the total number of students graduating in the class.
High School Type
A classification of high schools including Catholic high schools, public high schools, and other.
Hispanic/Latino
A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Home State
The state associated with a student's home address in PeopleSoft as of the census date. Since students may modify the address at any time, home state should not be interpreted as the student's state of origin.
Institutional Benchmarking
The process where institutions evaluate aspects of themselves relative to a peer group that is defined for the sole purpose of comparison.
Institutional Characteristics (IC)
Specific data elements currently collected for each institution include:  institution name, address, telephone number, control or affiliation, calendar system, levels of degrees and awards offered, types of programs, application information, student services and accreditation. The IC component also collects pricing information including tuition and required fees, room and board charges, books and supplies, and other expenses for release on College Navigator.
Instructional Faculty
Members of the instructional-research staff whose major regular assignment is instruction, including those with released time for research.
Instructional Faculty Salaries (SA)
This data, now part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Human Resources (HR) component, was previously a separate collection. It collects data as of November 1 of the reporting year on the number of full-time instructional faculty by rank, gender and length of contract; total salary outlays; and fringe benefits and number of full-time instructional faculty covered by these benefits. The data have been collected annually since 1990; however, data are not available for 2000. Prior to the 2001 collection, data were requested by tenure status. As of 2004, this component is applicable to all Title IV degree-granting institutions, unless they meet one of the following exclusions: all instructional faculty are part-time; all contribute their services; all are in the military; or all teach preclinical or clinical medicine. Formerly referred to as Salaries and Fringe Benefits of Full-Time Instructional Faculty (SA). (Term used in IPEDS HR survey component prior to 2012-13)
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), began in 1986 and involves annual institution-level data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (throughout IPEDS referred to as "Title IV") are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS currently consists of the following components: Institutional Characteristics (IC); 12-month Enrollment (E12); Completions (C); Human Resources (HR) composed of Employees by Assigned Position (EAP), Fall Staff (S) and Salaries (SA); Fall Enrollment (EF); Graduation Rates (GRS); Finance (F); and Student Financial Aid (SFA).
International Student
See Nonresident Alien.
Keyholder
The person designated by an official institutional representative to have in their possession the necessary User ID and password to gain access to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data collection system to complete the survey. The keyholder is responsible for entering data and locking the site by each survey completion date.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test that all law schools approved by the American Bar Association, most Canadian law schools and many other law schools require applicants to take as part of their admission process.
Legacy Student
A legacy student is one whose parent(s) or sibling(s) have attended or are attending Benedictine University.
Level
See Academic Level.
Level (of institution)
A classification of whether an institution's programs are four-year or higher (4-year), two but less than four-year (2-year) or less than 2-year.
Level of Offering
Information collected in the Institutional Characteristics component that indicates all applicable levels for all credit programs offered at an institution. Award levels are identified on the basis of recognition for their completion, duration or a combination thereof. Degree-designated award levels indicate those degree levels for which the institution is authorized to make formal awards. Length of study is the equivalent of the number of full-time academic years. For example, at least one but less than two years refers to the number of credits or the course load that would normally be completed by a full-time student attending within the stated time period.
Leverage Ratio
The Leverage Ratio is found by the sum of all unrestricted net assets and temporarily restricted net assets divided by notes and bonds payable. The ratio is used to calculate the financial leverage of a company or its ability to meet financial obligations. It measures the extent to which a company can use its assets to pay off its longer term debt if such action were necessary.
Loans to Students
Any monies that must be repaid to the lending institution for which the student is the designated borrower. Includes all Title IV subsidized and unsubsidized loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored loans. Does not include PLUS and other loans made directly to parents.
Major
A major (or academic major) is a college or university student's main field of specialization during his or her undergraduate studies which would be in addition to, and may incorporate portions of, a core curriculum. Students may have more than one major.
Military Leave (USERRA)
Military leave will be granted as provided by law for military services whether voluntary or involuntary. Whenever possible, request military leave at least two weeks in advance before the date the leave will begin. The request should be accompanied by a copy of the order. Please contact the Office of Human Resources for further information.
Military Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
A program that funds up to 100 percent of an eligible servicemember's college tuition and course-specific fees. Available only to eligible servicemembers who are currently in active service as long as criteria limits are not exceeded and students are enrolled off-duty in an U.S. Department of Education accredited post-secondary institution. This military benefit is paid directly to the postsecondary institution by the individual’s service branch.
Minor
An academic minor is a college or university student's declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate studies. A minor does not, however, constitute a second major.
Mission
Benedictine University is an inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning, scholarship and service, truth and justice, as inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, the social teaching of the Church, and the principles of wisdom in “The Rule of St. Benedict.”
Motto
Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus – “That in all things God may be glorified.”
NACUBO
Acronym for the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands.
Net Tuition Revenue
Total tuition revenue less discount provided to students in the form of merit and other scholarships and need-based grants. The desired trend is to increase net tuition revenue.
New Donor
A constituent who makes a new commitment.
Non-Resident Alien
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 who cannot legally remain indefinitely.
Normal Time to Completion
The amount of time necessary for a student to complete all requirements for a degree or certificate according to the institution's catalog. This is typically four years (eight semesters or trimesters, or 12 quarters, excluding summer terms) for a bachelor's degree in a standard term-based institution; two years (four semesters or trimesters, or six quarters, excluding summer terms) for an associate degree in a standard term-based institution; and the various scheduled times for certificate programs.
On-Campus Housing
Any residence hall or housing facility owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes.
Part-Time Student
Federal guidelines define part-time undergraduate and professional students as those who are enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester, and part-time graduate students as those who are enrolled in fewer than 9 credit hours in a semester.
Pell Grant Program
(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart I, as amended.) Provides grant assistance to eligible undergraduate postsecondary students with demonstrated financial need to help meet education expenses.
Perkins Loan Program
(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part E, as amended, Public Laws 89-329, 92-318, et al; 20 USC 1087aa-1087hh.). Formerly known as National Direct Student Loans (NDSL), the Perkins Loan program provides low interest loans to eligible postsecondary students (undergraduate, graduate or professional students) with demonstrated financial need to help meet educational expenses.
Primary Major
A primary major is a student's primary academic area of study.
Progression
A term that relates to a student's movement toward completing her or his degree.
Quarter
A calendar system in which the academic year consists of three sessions called quarters of 10 weeks each. There is an additional quarter in the summer.
Race/ethnicity
Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are 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. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.  Individuals are asked to first designate ethnicity as:
- Hispanic or Latino or
- Not Hispanic or Latino
Second, individuals are asked to indicate all races that apply among the following:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Asian
- Black or Africa-American
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
- White
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
The category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.
Religious Affiliation
The following categories are reported: Catholic; Other Christian Religion (which includes Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Evangelist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal/Apostolic, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ and Other Christian Religion); Other World Religion (which includes Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Other non-Christian Religion); no religious affiliation; and not indicated/unknown.
SAT
Previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, this is an examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and used to predict the facility with which an individual will progress in learning college level academic subjects.
SAT Subject Scores
College admission test scores on specific subjects that showcase students’ strengths and interests.
Semester
A calendar system that consists of two sessions called semesters during the academic year with about 15 weeks for each semester of instruction. There may be an additional summer session.
Specialization (graduate)
A specialization is the specific area of focus within a given department and degree that a student is pursuing. Some department/degree combinations do not have any specializations.
Stafford Loan
Low interest federal loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half-time. Stafford loans are the most common and one of the lowest-cost ways to pay for school.
Student Credit Hours
See Credit Hours.
Student to Faculty Ratio
The number of full-time equivalent students divided by the number of full-time equivalent instructional faculty.
Study Abroad
Any arrangement where students complete part of their college program in another country. Study abroad can be at a campus abroad or through a cooperative agreement with some other U.S. college or an institution of another country.
Survey of Graduating Seniors
An annual online survey given to graduating seniors gauging a variety of areas including demographics, engagement, satisfaction, future plans, learning outcomes and more.
Teacher Preparation Program for Educator Licensure
Program designed to prepare students to meet the requirements for licensure as teachers in elementary, middle/junior high and secondary schools.
Transfer Applicant - External Definition
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 previously attended another college or university and earned college-level credit.
Transfer Applicant - Internal Definition
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 previously attended another college or university and earned college-level credit OR has not taken college-level coursework for a period of one year after high school graduation.
Transfer Student - External Definition
A student entering the institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate). The student may transfer with or without credit.
Transfer Student - Internal Definition
A student entering the institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate). The student may transfer with or without credit OR has not taken college-level coursework for a period of one year after high school graduation.
Tuition
Amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged per term, per course or per credit.
Tuition Discount
Tuition discount may be calculated by dividing the total aid by the institution's total gross tuition.
Two or More Races
A calculated racial category which includes those who selected any combination of two or more races and not the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.
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.
White
A racial group describing a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.
Yield Rate
The number of students accepted by the institution and who attend the institution divided by the total number of students accepted by the institution.
 

University Planning and Research

Sheila Coffin
Executive Director of University Planning and Research
(630) 829-6664
scoffin@ben.edu

Amy Shin
Director of Institutional Research
(630) 829-6625
ashin@ben.edu

Phil Anthony
Sr. Research Data Analyst
(630) 829-6626
panthony@ben.edu