Data Definitions

Definitions and Explanatory Notes


Enrollment is the number of students attending a UNC institution in the fall term.  Aligned to federal reporting, students included are those taking courses:

  • Creditable toward a degree or other formal award.
  • As part of a vocational or occupational program, including those enrolled in off-campus or extension centers.
  • As high school enrollments for the North Carolina School of Science and Math and UNC School of the Arts.
  • As high school students taking regular college courses for credit.


Degrees are defined as awards conferred by a UNC institution that serve as official recognition of the completion of a program of study.  This indicator captures all certificates and diplomas awarded by the 17 UNC campuses, including high school diplomas awarded by UNCSA and NCSSM and various post-baccalaureate and graduate certificates. At the major level, these degree counts are unduplicated, meaning that a student with a double major is only counted once and is assigned the degree the campus coded as “first major” in the student database for federal reporting purposes.

Student Success

Cohorts presented in the Student Success page are the undergraduate, degree-seeking students who entered the University as first-time students in the fall term and attended full-time at matriculation.  Graduation is measured through the end of the academic year.  For example, a four-year graduation rate for the fall 2000 cohort is the percentage of students in that group graduating by the end of the 2003-04 academic year (i.e., by summer 2004). This is the standard definition used for federal reporting and accounts for over two-thirds of UNC undergraduates. (Future Dashboard plans include expansion of Student Success views to include other definitions of cohorts as well.)


These data are drawn from the Common Follow-up System, a collaborative effort of the University of North Carolina and the Department of Commerce. Wages and employment percentages are based on a match of social security numbers (SSNs) of UNC students to employers’ quarterly unemployment insurance filings. Thus, only graduates with matching SSNs are represented. In addition to excluding graduates who work outside of North Carolina, these data do not capture many self-employed individuals and those employed by the federal government.