Glossary of Terms

Data Element


Academic Year

The fall and spring terms define the academic year.

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 day when enrollment is taken in the CSU system. The census date is the close of the fourth week of instruction. We report the enrollment data from this day to the CSU Chancellor’s Office.


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

College Year

The summer, fall, and spring terms define the college year.

Course-based or Class-based data

Data such as FTES, enrollment (etc.) that are aggregated by College, Department, or Subject of the Course or Section.

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.

EOP (Educational Opportunity Program)

Students enrolled in the campus Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

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 - An undergraduate student entering Cal State LA for the first time, but previously attended a postsecondary institution as a undergraduate student.  

New Graduate - A student entering Cal State LA's graduate program for the first time. 

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

Continuing/Returning - A student who is not new to Cal State LA and continued to enroll in the same degree program (e.g., undergraduate, graduate).

Transitory - Non-degree seeking students who are enrolled at other institutions while simultaneously enrolled 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 in the Honors College program.

International Student

Students who 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

The local geographical area Cal State LA servces. Students from the area are granted priority admission. Veterans are considered "local" regardless of their school of origin.

Pell Recipient

Students who received Pell Grant.

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 and are seeking a post-baccalaureate credential or certificate


Hispanic – A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

American Indian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment. 

Asian - A person having 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. 

Black - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Pacfic Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

White - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Two or More - A person having origins in more than one race category.

International - 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 does not have the right to remain indefinitely. Beginning Summer 2022, undocumented/DACA students do not fall under this category.

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 who returned after a leave of absence of one or more regular terms and 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-based data

Data such as FTES, Headcount (etc.) that are aggregated by the Department or College of students' declared majors.

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 who do not have a bachelor’s degree.

URM (Underrepresented Minorities)

Students who identified themselves 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.