Winthrop University: Data Dictionary

Data Dictionary

The terms defined below may help in better understanding the data provided by the Office of Institutional Research.




An individual who has submitted an application for admission to the university.

Academic Probation

A status given to undergraduate students the first semester they earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) falling below 2.00. A student on academic probation whose semester GPA is 2.00 or higher is not suspended at the close of that semester even though the cumulative GPA remains below 2.00. The student is removed from academic probation at the close of the semester in which the cumulative GPA meets or exceeds 2.00.

Academic Period

Represents a portion of the academic year.  The university recognizes three (3) terms:  fall, spring, and summer.

Academic Year

The academic year is broken into fall, spring, and summer semesters and runs August to July.


A part of the registration process that allows students to change their course schedules by adding or dropping courses.


Applicants who have been granted an official offer to enroll in the university.


A member of the faculty who provides advice and guidance on academic matters such as course selection.


Term used when a student elects to take a course without receiving credit.


The university’s enterprise-level information system of record, comprising the student information system, the financial information system, and the human resources information system. 


A date set by the university on which it takes a “snapshot” of all student enrollment, which becomes the official enrollment used for state and federal reporting.  A census is taken each term (fall, spring, and summer).


The SC Commission on Higher Education coordinates and oversees the state’s system of post-secondary education.

CIP Code

A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions. CIP codes are used to categorize courses, student majors, and faculty credentials.


A specific group of students established for tracking purposes.

Commuter Student

A student who lives off campus and commutes to campus to attend classes.

Continuing Student

A student currently enrolled who was also enrolled at the university during the previous regular term.


Regularly scheduled class on a particular subject.

Course Load

The number of courses/credit hours a student takes during a specific semester.

Credits/Credit Hours

Units used by institutions to record the completion of courses (with a passing grade) in a degree program.

Degree Program Enrollment

Number of students enrolled in degree programs, including double majors and students pursuing multiple degrees. Tables and charts produced by the Office of IR with this label reflect duplicated counts.

End of Semester

Reporting period consisting of students who completed the semester.  This list excludes students who withdrew, dropped, or stopped attending during the regular semester period. The end-of-semester snapshot is typically taken three days after Commencement.


To register for at least one course at the university.


A distinct student count. Tables and charts produced by the Office of IR labeled ‘enrollment’ reflect distinct, unduplicated counts. Students with double majors or pursuing multiple degrees are counted under their primary major only.

First Academic Suspension

Students on probation with a subsequent violation in the next fall or spring semester result in this status.

First Generation (TRIO)

Undergraduate students who indicated neither parent completed a baccalaureate degree. First generation status is optional, self-reported data as of the time of the student’s admission to Winthrop.

First Generation (IPEDS)

Undergraduate students who indicated neither parent ever enrolled in postsecondary education. First generation status is optional, self-reported data as of the time of the student’s admission to Winthrop.

First-Time (New) Freshman (FTF)

A student who has no prior post-secondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level.  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 or post-secondary formal award earned before graduation from high school).


A degree-seeking student who has earned fewer than 24 credit hours, regardless of whether the student is new to Winthrop.

FTE (Full-time Equivalency)

The full-time equivalent (FTE) of students is a single value providing a meaningful combination of full-time and part-time students. IPEDS data products currently have two calculations of FTE students, one using fall student headcounts and the other using 12-month instructional faculty. CHE calculates FTE enrollment by dividing the total credit hours produced by undergraduates by 15, dividing the total credit hours produced by graduate students by 12, and summing the two.

Full-time Student

Undergraduate: A student enrolled in 12 or more credits.  Graduate: A student enrolled in 9 or more credits.

In-State Student

A student who meets the university’s requirements for South Carolina residency.

International Student

A student who received high school equivalent credentials in a country outside the United States.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A numerical representation of a student’s overall academic performance, based on a 4.0 scale.  The GPA is determined after each semester; for each semester and cumulatively.

Graduating Senior

An undergraduate student who has earned at least 87 hours, met degree requirements, and applied to graduate.

Graduation Rate

Percent of the First-Time, Full-Time Freshman Cohort who are awarded a Bachelor’s degree by the end of the summer term of their fourth academic year or sixth academic year of study (“4-year Graduation Rate” and “6-year Graduation Rate”, respectively).

Graduate Student

Student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and is enrolled at the graduate level at the institution.


A count of persons irrespective of full-time or part-time status.

High School/Dual Enrollment

A student who is still in high school but has special permission to take a college level course.


The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System is the post-secondary data collection program of the National Center for Education Statistics, a part of the US Department of Education.  Institutions receiving federal student financial assistance must annually complete the IPEDS data collection process.


A degree seeking student who has earned at least 54 credit hours but fewer than 87 credit hours.

New Graduate Student

Student enrolled at the graduate level at the institution for the first time.

Non-Degree Seeking

A student who is taking at least one class without the intention of working toward or receiving a degree.

Out-of-State Student

A student who does not meet the university’s requirements for South Carolina residency.

Part-time Student

Undergraduate:  A student enrolled in fewer than 12 credits. Graduate:  A student enrolled in fewer than 9 credits.

Permanent Dismissal

Students readmitted for a second time after second academic suspension who fail to achieve the specified minimum cumulative GPA are permanently dismissed from the university.


A reporting construct developed by the US Department of Education for collecting information related to an individual’s self-reported racial and ethnic identity. The university must report Race/Ethnicity according to the guidelines set forth by the US Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics'  Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.


A student returning after missing one or more regular term (fall or spring). 


The process in which students choose and enroll in courses for an academic term.

Retention Rate

Percent of the First-time Full-time Freshman Cohort who are enrolled as of the Census Date for the subsequent fall term.

Second Academic Suspension

Students on first academic suspension who fail to meet the specified minimum GPA receive this designation for one calendar year.


Periods of study associated with the time of year in attendance.  Example:  Fall Semester, Spring Semester and/or Summer Semester.


A degree seeking student who has earned at least 87 credit hours.


A degree seeking student who has earned at least 24 credit hours but fewer than 54 credit hours.


A student who has not been admitted into a degree-seeking program.

Transfer Credit

Credit awarded toward a degree on the basis of studies completed at another institution or by examination (i.e., AP or IB).


Students from other colleges and universities who are admitted to take summer work provided they are in good standing at their institutions.

Transfer Student

A student entering Winthrop for the first time but known to have previously attended a post-secondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate, graduate).


The amount of money charged to students for instructional services.  Tuition may be charged per semester, per course or per credit.

Undecided/Undeclared Student

A student that has not formally chosen or declared a major.

Undergraduate Student

Student who is enrolled at the institution and has not yet earned a baccalaureate degree.

Lower Division/Lower Level

Students taking courses at the 100 and 200 level.

Upper Division/Upper Level

Students taking courses at the 300 and 400 level.


Dropping all courses for the term after the term/session/semester has begun.


Last Updated: 2/27/23