Student Fact Book Definitions

Headcount Enrollment - A count of the number of students enrolled in a given semester. Part-time students are counted in the same way as full-time students.
 

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment - A way of counting enrollment where each full-time student is counted as one and each part-time student is counted as a portion of one. This allows all students to be weighted in the same way given that a part-time student takes fewer credits.
 

First-Time Freshmen - Students who are attending college for the first time as full-time degree-seeking freshmen. Fall counts also include those students who started in the preceding summer and continued as full-time students.
 

Degrees Awarded - The number of degrees distributed to completers. Since students can earn more than one degree at a time, this is more than a count of graduates.

Graduation Rate - The percent of a given cohort that graduated within a specified amount of time. A cohort is defined as the first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen that enter in a given fall. The number of students who graduate before the fall semester four, five and six years later are counted and divided by the cohort size to determine the graduation rate for each of those years. The rates are cumulative, so students who graduated within four years are also included in the five-year rate.
 

Retention Rate - The percent of a given cohort that remains enrolled at Penn State. A cohort is defined as the first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen that enter in a given fall. The number of those students who are still enrolled in subsequent fall semesters are counted and divided by the cohort size to determine the retention rate for each year.
 

Student Credit Hours (SCH) - The number of credits taken by students in the stated academic year (Summer, Fall and Spring). Breakdowns are based on where the credit hours are offered, not by who takes them. So all courses in The College of Liberal Arts are shown there, even though they are taken by students from many different colleges.