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Institutional Research Glossary

Accountability Measures - defined in collaboration with EWU, other Baccalaureate institutions within the state, Office of Financial Management (OFM) and the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) annually- includes:

  • Common Measures- degrees awarded, bachelor's degrees in high demand, six year graduation, three year graduation rate for transfers, first year freshman retention, percentage of bachelor's degrees a awarded to students not exceeding 125%

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Indicators identified through the Academic Strategic Planning process.  Approved by the President's Executive Committee and Cabinet by which we will measure improvement success in serving students---- linked to our accountability measures.  Includes: enrollment, graduation rates, retention rates, program quality and learning environment.

 Retention- generally used to represent the percentage of fist-time/full-time freshman who returned the subsequent fall.  Measurements are represented in CSRDE Data, IPEDS and the Common Data Set. Transfer numbers are also available, yet not referenced nearly as much as freshman on a local or national level.

Continuation/Advancement Rate- used to describe the rate at which a cohort of students who started one term continue on to the next term - fall to winter, winter to spring or spring to fall rate.

Attrition/Departure Rate-  the percentage of students who leave EWU for a variety of reason i.e. social, academic, financial, etc. May be referred to by term or annual rate.

 Graduation Rate- rate at which a cohort of entering students, most often first-time/full-time freshman, graduate with consecutive enrollment in a certain number of years- measured in 4, 5, 6, and 8 year rates.

 Conversion Rate-  the rate at which a particular category of enrollment is converted to something else- i.e. headcount to FTE conversion rate.

 Biennium-  A two year time period.  Washington State makes funding decisions on a two year cycle.  The biennium begins on July 1 of an odd numbered year and ends on June 30 of the next odd numbered year.  For example: July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 is the 09-10 biennium.

 Enrollment Types:

  •  Headcount (HC)-   actual number of students.  Headcount can be referred to as the total number of students in a particular category of enrollment- i.e. state or self-support.  Headcount is often duplicated between the two categories.  Thus, you may see unduplicated headcount referenced.   
  •   Full Time Equivalent (FTE)-   A measure used in presenting statistical data on students and/or staff.  The calculation depends on the credit value of the course and the number of students enrolled in a given quarter. There are several ways in which full time can be measured.

Types of Full-Time Measurements

Undergraduate Credits

Graduates  Credits

Financial Aid Eligibility

 (ACG/SMART/Stafford- avg. for grade level progression)




NCAA Eligibility



OFM State Funding



Full-time Tuition- Resident & Non-resident           



  Full time equivalent (FTE)

A measure used in presenting statistical data on all employees:

  • one 12 month, 100% time employee = 1 FTE
  • one 9 month, 100% time faculty = 9/12 or .75 FTE

  • 2,088 hours of paid staff time per year

Full time equivalent Faculty (FTEF)  - A measure used in presenting statistical data on faculty.  One 9 month, 100% time faculty = 1 FTEF

Full time equivalent student (FTES)  - A measure used in presenting statistical data on students.  The calculation depends on the credit value of the course and the number of students enrolled in a given quarter.

  • For 100, 200, 300 and 400 level courses:
    (Course credit hours * Student enrollment in class )/ 15 = 1 quarterly FTES
  • For 500 and 600 level courses:
    (Course credit hours * Student enrollment in class )/ 10 = 1 quarterly FTES

Average Annual FTES - calculated by adding the quarterly FTES for Fall, Winter and Spring quarters and dividing by 3. 

State Support-  Office of Financial Management funded enrollment level based on annualized FTE.

 Self Support- enrollments which are reported to OFM, but no state funding received per FTE i.e. EWU Running Start, Off campus programs (BCC, Dental Hygiene-Pierce, etc.), Independent Learning.   Generally, seventy five percent of revenue remains with sponsoring program and 25% allocated amongst Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Division of International and Educational Outreach, entrepreneurial fund, and Business and Finance.

Annualized- this term is most often associated with headcount or FTE.  This is the average of all three terms- adding fall, winter and spring then dividing by 3.

EWU Budgeted Enrollment Level- Internal number for purposes of projecting operating fees revenue. This number is conservative compared to OFM budget level, projection and goals because it is the basis for budgeted spending.

Forecasted Enrollment Levels- baseline forecast based on populations by age, unemployment and per capita income (regression analysis) provided by Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis

Enrollment Targets/Goals- Executive level decision that will drive strategies FY 08 through FY 11 is for growth between 1.5% and 2.5%.

Projected Enrollments- takes place in the spring and is based off application trends for the upcoming fall.

Actual Enrollments (HC/FTE- state/self support)- May be measured by quarter or on an annualized basis

Total enrollments - includes both state and self-support.  May be annualized or quarterly.                                                                                   

Total unduplicated headcount- number reported to IPEDS that is inclusive of all enrollments types- state, self, waivers, etc.

Student Engagement- referred to as the level of student involvement in both academic and social activities.  Specifically measured by the National Study and Student Engagement (NSSE).

Recruitment- all outreach, marketing and promotional activities intended to progress students from a prospect to an inquiry to an applicant to an admitted student and ultimately an enrolled student.

Prospect- essentially any potential EWU student- could be freshman, transfer, or graduate student.  For example, we purchase SAT and NRCCUA names of high school student who may or may not be at all familiar with EWU.  Students are potentially from all over the U.S.

Inquiry- a prospective student who has requested more information from EWU and has been placed into our recruitment communication stream via Banner- student may have inquired directly via the web, high school or CC visit, college fair, etc.

Applicant- a student who has formally applied for admission to EWU.  This student may or may not have been an inquiry.

Admit- a student who has been offered admission to EWU

Enrollment - all yield activities intended to transition an admitted student to an enrolled student.

Enrollment Management- ability of the campus to work collaboratively to take into account and work with internal and external factors to manage enrollments - includes all recruitment, retention and graduation activities.  It is an important factor in assisting institutions to attain stated goals and remain financially viable.

Yield Rates- often used when referencing the total number of applications, admits, or confirmed students who in turn enroll.

Student Credit Hours (SCH)-   A measure used in presenting statistical data on students.  Number of Credits x Headcount in class = SCH

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