Glossary of Terms

Data Element


Admission Rate

The percentage of applicants who were admitted, i.e., the number of admitted students divided by the number of applied students.

Annualized FTES or Headcount

Annualized value is the average of FTES or headcount from the two terms (or three during the quarter system) in a given academic year. For example, if the total FTES was 200 in Fall 2016 and 100 in Spring 2017 then the annualized FTES for AY2016-17 is (200 + 100) / 2 = 150.

Average Class Size (ACS)

The average number of students enrolled in all sections on the census date.

Census Date

The census date is the close of the fourth week of instruction.


A group of students share common characteristics or treated as a group. Example: a full-time first-time freshmen cohort is a group of students who start in the same term and take12 units or more.

EI (Eligibility Index)

An index used for admission. It is calculated by multiplying high school GPA by 800 and adding the composite SAT (math and reading), or multiplying high school GPA by 200 and adding the composite ACT.

Enrollment Type

First-Time Freshmen (FTF)– Students who have not previously enrolled at any institution of higher education, but may have earned college units prior to matriculation.

New Transfer - Students have transferred from other colleges, and have earned no credit at Cal State LA.  

New Graduate - Students have earned no graduate college credits. 

New Post-Bac - Students are working towards a second bachelor’s degree.

Continuing/Returning - Students have completed one term or more in their respective degree.

Transitory - Students have enrolled in other colleges while simultaneous taking courses at Cal State LA, these students are classified as non-degree seeking at Cal State LA. 

Feeding Institutions or Feeders

They are educational institutions attended prior to enrolling at Cal State LA. For institutions outside of California, it shows as geographic names (e.g. states or countries).

First Generation

Students whose parents did not attend colleges.

Full-Time Equivalent Student (FTES)

A unit that indicates the workload of a student in a way that makes class load comparable across various context. For undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students, it is the total attempted units divided by 15 units, and 12 units for graduates per term.

Full-Time Graduate Student

Graduate students taking 9 or more units is considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes

Full-Time Postbaccalaureate Student

Post-baccalaureate students taking 9 or more units are considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes.

Full-Time Undergraduate Student

Undergraduate students taking 12 or more units are considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes.

Graduation Rate

The percentage of entering students who earned a degree within a specified number of years. For example, 4-year graduation rate is the proportion of entering students who earned a degree within 4 years (before the fifth year begins). The graduation rate represents cumulative proportions.


Students participate in the Honors College program.

International Student

Students do not have US citizenship or legal permanent resident status (a “green card” and apply for a visa to be allowed entry into the US temporary to take classes.

Local Service

Students are granted priority admission because they were from a high school or community college within Cal State LA's local geographical area, in order to better serve the community.

Persistence Rate

The percentage of students who return to college or have earned a degree and it is the sum of the retention and graduation rate.

Postbaccalaureate Student

Students who hold a baccalaureate or equivalent degree are seeking a post-baccalaureate credential or certificate

Retention Rate

The percentage of students who continue to enroll for a specified year after matriculation. For example, if 3000 first-time freshmen started their undergraduate career in Fall 2017 and 2400 continued to enroll in Fall 2018, the 1-year retention rate is 2400/3000 = 80%. Unlike graduation rate, retention rate is not cumulative. If, in the same example, 2700 first-time freshmen re-enrolled in Fall 2019, 2-year retention would be 2700/3000 = 90%, higher than the 1-year retention rate. This happens because some students do not enroll consecutively.

Returning/Readmitted Student

Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students are returning, after a leave of absence of one or more regular terms, who has no units attempted elsewhere.

Room Type

TEC - A technology-enhanced classroom may house computer-integrated technologies such as networked computers (Windows/Mac), a multimedia data projector, VCR, DVD, and document camera.

Lecture Room - A room with minimal technology enhancement, is suitable for traditional lecture-based pedagogy.

LAB - A room is used primarily for classes that require special-purpose equipment for student participation.

Active Learning Classroom - A room with a PC/projector for an instructor and flexible furnishings, is designed to encourage active learning and group activities. 

Student Level

Student level is defined by earned units.

Freshman - 0 to 29.9 units.

Sophomore - 30.0 to 59.9 units.

Junior - 60.0 to 89.9 units.

Senior - 90.0 or more units.

Time to Degree

Years have taken to earn a degree, calculated as a difference between graduating term and admitted term.

Undergraduate Student

Students do not have any bachelor’s degrees.

URM (Underrepresented Minorities)

Students are identified as African American, American Indian, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander. 

Yield Rate

The percentage of studentw who enroll after being offered admission, i.e., the number of enrolled students divided by the number of admitted students.