Glossary of Terms

Admission rate

A number of admitted students divided by a number of applied students.

Average Class Size (ACS)

The average number of students enrolled in all sections of a class

Census date

The day official enrollment is taken for the CSU. It is the close of the fourth week of classes.


A group of students who share common characteristics. In a context of calculating graduation/ retention rates, a cohort is a group of full-time first time freshmen or upper division transfer students who start in the same term, same year.

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
New transfer
New graduate students
New postbac

Feeding institutions, or feeders

Educational Institutions attended immediately prior to enrolling in Cal State LA. For institutions outside of California, it shows as geographic names (e.g. states or countries).

First generation

A student whose parents never attended college.

First-time freshman (FTF)

A student who has not previously enrolled in an institution of higher education, but who may have earned some college units prior to matriculation.

Full-time equivalent student (FTES)

A unit of measure equal to total attempted units divided by 15 units for undergraduate or postbaccalaureate students and to total attempted units divided by 12 units per term for graduate students.

Full-Time graduate Student

A graduate student taking 9 or more units is considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes

Full-time postbaccalaureate Students

A postbaccalaureate student taking 9 or more units is considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes

Full-time Undergraduate Student

An undergraduate student taking 12 or more units is considered full-time for enrollment reporting purposes.

Graduation rate

The proportion 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 eanred a degree within 4 years (before the fifth year begins).


Students who participated in the Honors College program.

International student

A student who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely. This includes undocumented students.

Local service

A student who was granted priority admission consideration because he or she is from high school or community college in Cal State LA's local admission area.

Persistance rate

The proportion of entereing students who have earned a degree or are stilling working toward it. It is the sum of graduation rate and retention rate.

Postbaccalaureate student

A student who holds a baccalaureate or equivalent degree, is graduate student level and is seeking a post-baccalaureate credential or certificate.

Retention rate

The proportion of entering students continue to pursue a degree after a specified numbers of years. For example, 1-year retention rate is the proportion of entering students who enrolled at the beginning of the second year.

Returning/readmitted student

A former undergaradaute or postbaccalaureate student returning after an absence of one or more terms of the regular sessions 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, suitable for traditional lecture-based pedagogy.

LAB - A room 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, designed to encourage active learning and group activities. 

Student Level

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 took to graduate, calculated as a difference between graduating term and admitted term.

Transfer student

A student entering Cal State LA for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level and does not have a bachelor's degree.

Transitory student

A student who is taking courses at Cal State LA but has continuing status at another institution.

Undergraduate student

A student who does not have a bachelor’s degree.

URM (Underrepresented minorities)

A student who identified as African American, American Indian, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander. For Graduation Initiative 2025, Pacific Islander is not URM.

Yield rate

A number of enrolled students divided by a number of admitted students.