Glossary

The Data Glossary includes dozens of terms used in institutional reports and statistical indicators. To provide feedback on the glossary or to request additional definitions, please follow the “learn more” links for each term or contact us at data@samford.edu.

11-12 Month Faculty
The contracted teaching period of faculty employed for the entire year, usually for a period of 11 or 12 months.--IPEDS
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9-10 Month Faculty
The contracted teaching period of faculty employed for 2 semesters, 3 quarters, 2 trimesters, 2 4-month sessions, or the equivalent.--IPEDS
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Academic Year
For undergraduate day and most graduate students, Samford University operates on the semester (4-1-4) system, consisting of two four-month semesters, fall and spring, and a three-week term in January. The fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December. The spring semester begins in late January and ends in mid-May. The summer includes a 14 week term, a 10 week term, or two five week terms.
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Activity Fees
Fees are charged to cover the actual cost of these activities.
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Adjunct or Part-time Faculty
Non-tenure track instructional staff serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis. Excludes regular part-time instructional staff (who, unlike adjuncts are not paid on a course-by-course basis), graduate assistants, full-time professional staff of the institution who may teach individual courses (such as a dean or academic advisor), and appointees who teach non-credit courses exclusively.--IPEDS
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Admitted Applicant
Applicant who is offered admission to a degree-granting program at Samford, including wait-listed students who were subsequently offered admission.
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Annual Gift Fund
Funds that are supported by annual gifts and can be either unrestricted in nature or carry a certain restriction as defined by the donor. Fund numbers begin with 21.
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Applicant
An individual who has made an application to Samford University but did not necessarily submit all necessary requirements for an admission decision.
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Application
Refers to the process by which individuals apply to gain entry into a college or university.
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Audit Student
A student enrolled in a course who neither receives a grade nor participates in classroom examinations.
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Awarded Degree Status
Degree has been granted.
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Board Plan Dining Services
The method for providing meals to students during an academic year. Plans may include a specific charge for a specified number of meals per week or a specified amount against which students may charge their meals.--IPEDS
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Books and supplies
The average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for an entire academic year (or program). Does not include unusual costs for groups of students in specific programs unless they constitute the majority of students at an institution.--IPEDS modified
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Budget
A University financial plan that provides both revenue and expense parameters for the fiscal year running July 1 - June 30.
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Budget to actual
Any analysis or reporting that provides a comparison of "actual" revenue and expenses to the budget for that same operating line.
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Clock hour or contact hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as contact hour.--IPEDS
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Completed Application
An individual who has fulfilled the institution’s requirements to be considered for admission.
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Coordinated Degree
A student pursuing two mutually exclusive graduate degrees. Sharing credits is optional. Completion of one is not dependent on completion of the other.
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Core or Core Curriculum
Six required courses for all undergraduate students which are designed to provide an academic foundation for work toward the major field of study.
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Corpus
The balance of the endowment that is held in perpetuity and not available for allocation. This is the portion of the donor gift that is invested to generate earnings that will be used to support operations.
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Cost of Attendance
Total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees (lower of in-district or in-state for public institutions), books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.
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Course
Instruction taken for credit and applied to the overall number of credits required to earn a degree.--University
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Credit hour
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
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Curriculum
A set of courses constituting an area of specialization.
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Degree seeking student and Degree and certificate seeking students
Students enrolled in courses for credit who are seeking a degree, certificate, or other formal award.-- IPEDS
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Designated Fund
Funds designated for a specific purpose but without any temporary restriction. For example, a study abroad trip (revenues and expenses) would flow through a designated fund. Fund numbers begin with 111.
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Direct Overhead
Direct costs can be identified specifically with particular cost objectives such as a grant, contract, project, function or activity. Direct costs generally include: Salaries, employee fringe benefits allocable on direct labor employees, consultant services contracted to accomplish specific grant/contract objectives, travel of (direct labor) employees, materials, supplies and equipment purchased directly for use on a specific grant or contract, communication costs identifiable with a specific award or activity.
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Distance Education
A formal educational process in which the majority of instruction in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. -- SACSCOC
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Double major
Students may earn a single degree (i.e. BA, BS, BSBA, etc.) with more than one major. Majors may be in the same college or in different colleges.
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Dual Degree
Undergraduate degree option where a student earns two degrees after completing all major requirements in addition to a minimum of 32 additional credit hours.
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Earned Credits
Those credits that accumulate based on successful completion of coursework (excluding repeated courses).
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Earnings
The gain (loss) earned in the market on the invested endowed dollars. The annual endowed allocation is distributed from the earnings.
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Educational Program
A coherent set of courses leading to a credential (degree, diploma, or certificate) awarded by the institution.--SACSCOC
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Endowed Aid
Institutional aid received and awarded to students from endowments.
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Endowed Fund
A series of funds that are established to provide earnings from the market to support an annual expenditure or scholarship. Typically, there are three separate funds established: 1 Corpus - the initial gift that is remain in tact over the life of the endowment 2 Earnings - all gains and losses in the market are posted here and support the expenditures 3 Spending - funded by an annual allocation from the Earnings funds. All endowment expenditures or scholarship post here. Fund numbers begin with 61 Corpus, 62 Earnings and 22 Spending.
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Endowment Allocation
Often referred to as the "spend" or "annual throw off". This represents the annual funds available from the endowment for general operating expenses. The allocation is calculated using a Board approved formula that provides a steady amount regardless of the ups and downs in the market. The formula produces an allocation that is roughly 5% of the endowment value.
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Entering or EFR Student
Students at the undergraduate level, both full-time and part-time, coming into the institution for the first time in the fall term (or the prior summer term who returned again in the fall). This includes all first-time undergraduate students, students transferring into the institution at the undergraduate level for the first time, and non-degree/certificate seeking undergraduates entering in the fall.--IPEDS
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Expected Family Contribution
The amount, calculated by FAFSA, that a family can contribute to the student's education that academic/aid year.
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Faculty
Persons identified by the institution as such and typically those whose initial assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research or public service as a principal activity (or activities). They may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer or the equivalent of any of those academic ranks. Faculty may also include the chancellor/president, provost, vice provosts, deans, directors or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads or the equivalent) if their principal activity is instruction combined with research and/or public service. The designation as "faculty" is separate from the activities to which they may be currently assigned. Graduate, instruction, and research assistants are not included in this category.--IPEDS
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Faculty Annual Letter of Agreement
An annually-renewable contract or employment agreement that is in effect for a stated annual period within one year of execution, and may be equal to a period of 365 days, or a standard academic year, or the equivalent. Does not include contracts for partial year periods such as a single semester, quarter, term, block, or course.--IPEDS
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Faculty Less-than-annual letter of agreement
A contract or employment agreement that is in effect for a partial year period of less than 365 days, or less than a standard academic year or the equivalent. Includes contracts for partial year periods such as a single semester, quarter, term, block, or course.--IPEDS
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Faculty Rank or Faculty Status
A status designated by the institution according to the institution's policies. --IPEDS
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Fall Term
The part of the academic year that begins between late August and November 1.--IPEDS
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First-year Student
A student who has completed less than the equivalent of 1 full year of undergraduate work; that is, less than 30 semester hours (in a 120-hour degree program) or less than 900 contact hours .--IPEDS
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Fiscal Year
Reporting period that runs from July 1-June 30 annually.
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Freshman Student
A student who has earned fewer than 32 credits.
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FTE by Headcount
The total of full-time headcount plus .333 times the part-time headcount - (FT + (.333*PT)).--IPEDS
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FTE by Instructional Activity
The total credit hours taken divided by the full-time course load - (CHT/FTCL). -- IPEDS
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Full-time Student
Undergraduate: A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits, or 9 or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full-time by the institution. Doctor's degree - Professional practice - as defined by the institution.--IPEDS
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Fund
A part of the general ledger account segment. It provides a tracking mechanism for revenues and expenses and maintains a cumulative net balance. For example, each endowment resides in a separate fund.
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Funded Scholarship
Financial aid that has a source of revenue such as an endowment or annual gift income.
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Graduation rate
The total number of completers within 150% of normal time divided by the revised adjusted cohort.--IPEDS
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Grant Fund
Funds established for the budgeting and tracking of all grants (foundations, federal dollars, etc..). Fund numbers begin with 24.
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Headcount Student Counts Enrollment
The number of individuals for whom instruction is provided in an educational program under the jurisdiction of a school or educational institution.--IPEDS
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Indirect Overhead
Indirect costs represent the expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project function or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the conduct of activities it performs. Cost allocation plans or indirect cost rates are used to distribute those costs to benefiting revenue sources.
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Institutional Aid or Scholarship
Aid funded from any institutional source.
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Institutional Grade Point Average (GPA)
The number of quality points earned at the institution divided by the number of quality credits earned at the institution. Used to calculate academic standing and Latin honors at graduation.
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Instructional Faculty
The instructional faculty is defined as those members of the instructional-research staff who are employed on a full-time basis and whose major regular assignment is instruction, including those with released time for research. Institutions are asked to exclude (a) instructional faculty who are employed to teach less than two semesters, three quarters, two trimesters, or two four-month sessions; (b) instructional faculty in preclinical and clinical medicine; (c) instructional faculty who are employed on a part-time basis; (d) administrative officers with titles such as dean of students, librarian, registrar, coach, and the like, even though they may devote part of their time to classroom instruction and may have faculty status; (e) undergraduate or graduate students who assist in the instruction of courses, but have titles such as teaching assistant, teaching fellow, and the like; (f) faculty on leave without pay; and (g) replacement for faculty on sabbatical leave. AAUP
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International Student
An International student is a student that does not possess US citizenship.
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Jan Term
A short term consisting of three weeks in the month of January.
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Joint Degree
Two graduate programs share academic credits in pursuit of two degrees. A student must complete requirements for both degrees before the degrees are awarded.
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Junior Student
A student who has earned at least 64 credits, but fewer than 96.
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Letter of Agreement
The faculty agreement that defines compensation and academic assignment.
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Matriculation
Acceptance and enrollment in an educational program at an institution in pursuit of a degree. -- US DOE
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Net Price
Average institutional net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant and scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. --IPEDS
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Operating Margin
Represented on the official audited financial statements as Increase (Decrease) in net assets from operating activities. The difference in operating revenues and expenses for the University. Operating activities do not include such things as the market gain (loss) on the endowment, capital gifts & expenses and principal on debt service.
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Other expenses
The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses such as laundry, transportation, and entertainment.--IPEDS
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Outside Aid or Scholarship
Aid that has been paid to the school for a particular student from an outside entity; school has no discretion over recipient.
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Overall Grade Point Average GPA
The number of quality points earned at the home and any another institution divided by the number of quality credits earned at the home and any other institution.
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Overload Pay
Compensation for full time faculty that is outside their letter of agreement (LOA). It can be pay for course loads above the LOA or may be teaching pay for the other terms (Summer and Jan Term).
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Part-time Student
Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits.--IPEDS
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Pending Degree Status
Application has been made for the current term; grad check complete.
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Persistence
Continued enrollment in an educational program at an institution. -- US DOE
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Primary Program
The degree an undergraduate student will earn, for instance a bachelor of arts.
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Program
A combination of courses and related activities organized for the attainment of broad educational objectives as described by the institution.--IPEDS
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Quality Credits
Each course is assigned a number of credits that a student can earn toward a degree if the course is completed successfully. Quality credits are divided into the number of quality points earned to obtain a student's grade point average (GPA).
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Required or General Fees
Fixed sum charged to students for items not covered by tuition and required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charge is an exception.--IPEDS
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Retention or Retention rate
A measure of the rate at which students persist in their educational program at an institution, expressed as a percentage. For four-year institutions, this is the percentage of first-time bachelors (or equivalent) degree-seeking undergraduates from the previous fall who are again enrolled in the current fall. IPEDS (Some exclusions from the original cohort are allowed.)
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Right-to-know cohort
Institutions eligible for Title IV funding must calculate completion or graduation rates of certificate- or degree-seeking, full-time students entering that institution, and disclose these rates to all students and prospective students. --IPEDS
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Room charges
Room is defined as double occupancy. CDS
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S&E
Short for Supplies and Other Expense. Any reference to expenses other than Labor and Benefits is typically referred to as "S&E".
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Secondary Program
The second undergraduate major. This does not control the degree to be earned unless the student is pursuing a dual degree.
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Section
A section is an instance of a course. The same course may be taught at multiple times, resulting in multiple sections. Each section has a unique identification value.
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Semester Term
A calendar system that consists of two sessions called semesters during the academic year with about 15 weeks for each semester of instruction. There may be an additional summer session.-- IPEDS
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Senior Student
A student who has earned at least 96 credits.
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Sophomore Student
A student who has earned at least 32 credits, but fewer than 64.
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Sought Degree Status
Student’s expected time to graduate based on length of program.
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Special Status Student
A student who is enrolled in courses but is not seeking a degree.
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State of Origin
Can be the state from which the student submitted their application.
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Student - Continuing/Returning student (undergraduate) Readmission Student (SU)
A student who previously attended Samford, left, and desires to return to Samford, including students who were required to withdraw.
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Student Need Calculation
The difference between the cost of attendance (COA or Budget) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is determined by the Department of Education based on the results of the student’s FAFSA.
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Student-to-faculty ratio
Ratio of full-time equivalent students (full-time plus 1/3 part time) to full-time equivalent instructional faculty (full time plus 1/3 part time). In the ratio calculations, exclude both faculty and students in stand-alone graduate or professional programs such as medicine, law, veterinary, dentistry, social work, business, or public health in which faculty teach virtually only graduate-level students. CDS
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Summer Term
Summer term day classes are split into two five-week terms (Summer 1 and Summer 2), one 10- week summer term, and one 14 week term.
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Supplemental Pay
Employee compensation for activities outside their primary job responsibilities.
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Term Codes in Banner
Term codes are made up of a 4 digit year with a two digit suffix to indicate a specific term: 10- Jan Term 20- Spring Term 50- Summer Terms 70- Fall Term
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Terminal degree
The highest degree recognized in a field: example, M. Arch (architecture) and MFA (master of fine arts). CDS
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Transfer Grade Point Average (GPA)
The number of quality points earned at another institution divided by the number of quality credits earned at the other institution.
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Transfer-out Student
A student that leaves the reporting institution and enrolls at another institution.--IPEDS
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Transfer Student
A student who has attended another accredited college or university and desires to attend Samford to pursue a degree.
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Transient Student
A student who is regularly enrolled in another college or university but desires to take a course(s) at Samford.
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Tuition
The amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged per term, per course, or per credit.--IPEDS
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Tuition and fees (published charges)
The amount of tuition and required fees covering a full academic year most frequently charged to students. These values represent what a typical student would be charged and may not be the same for all students at an institution. If tuition is charged on a per-credit-hour basis, the average full-time credit hour load for an entire academic year is used to estimate average tuition. Required fees include all fixed sum charges that are required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charges is an exception.--IPEDS
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Tuition discount or Tuition discount rate
The percentage of tuition and fees offset by institutional aid. Calculated by dividing the gross tuition and mandatory student fees by institutional aid (scholarship).
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Undergraduate First-time Student
A student who has no prior postsecondary experience attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. It 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 earned before graduation from high school).--IPEDS
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Unfunded Scholarship
Financial aid that does not have a source of revenue. This is sometimes referred to as University Grant.
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