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Policy and Report Library > Reports > 2008 Performance Measurement Report

Technical Guide: State College Reports

Unless otherwise specified, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is the source of the institutional data and information presented in this report.

Access Indicators
Affordability Indicators
Student Success and Academic Quality Indicators
Fiscal Effectiveness and Efficiency Indicators

Section I: Access to Public Higher Education in Massachusetts

Access Indicators

Fall Enrollment Headcount

Fall Headcount is used as a measure of student population at the traditional peak entry time.

Fall Enrollment FTE

Fall Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) indicates the mix of full-time and part-time students at the institution’s peak entry time.

Annual Enrollment Headcount

Annual Headcount reflects the population of students in all terms throughout the academic year.

Annual Enrollment FTE

Annual Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) indicates the mix of full-time and part-time students who are enrolled at any point throughout the year.

Minority Enrollment

Minority Headcount Enrollment is compared with the minority composition of the geographic region in which the institution resides.  These regions were identified and labeled by the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development. 

Community College Transfer Students

We measure the number of students who enter our four-year institutions after having been previously enrolled at a Massachusetts community college, as an indication of collaboration between the two segments.

Section II: Affordability of Massachusetts Community Colleges

Affordability Indicator

% of Median Family Income

This indicator measures full-time tuition and mandatory fees as a percentage of median family income, as sourced from the US Census Bureau American Community Survey 2007.

Section III: Student Success and Academic Quality

Success and Quality Indicators

Fall Cohort First-Year Persistence

This measure shows the number of first-time, full-time new freshmen who return to the same institution in the fall following their first year.

Six-Year Graduation Rate

The source for this indicator is the Graduation Rate Survey of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The entering cohort includes first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students. Nationally, six years is the traditional time for measuring graduation rates at four-year institutions.

Degrees Conferred

This measure includes all degrees and certificates that are conferred during the fiscal year.

Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure Pass Rate

Passing the MTEL exam is required for teacher certification. We measure pass rates on this exam for first-time test-takers, as an indication of academic quality and learning outcomes. The source for this indicator is the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Special Admissions Students

Special Admits are students who have been admitted to a Massachusetts state college, but have not met the minimum admissions standards approved by the Board of Higher Education. Each institution is required to limit special admits to 10% of the new student population. For specific details regarding state college admissions standards, please see the appendix.

Section IV: Effective and Efficient Use of Resources

Effectiveness and Efficiency Indicators

Efficiency and Innovation

Projects and initiatives that result in cost savings and regional collaborations that result in more efficient use of system resources. Examples must be based on quantifiable results, not aspirations.

Resource Allocation

Utilizing IPEDS expenditure data, we measure the spending per student in each of five key expenditure areas. Spending for peer institutions is provided as a comparison. We also included estimated spending using budget formula requirements, which provides a measure of true fiscal need at the colleges.


All Massachusetts public colleges are required to undergo an independent annual audit of their fiscal practices. A positive audit has an unqualified opinion and no material weaknesses.

Financial Health Indicator

The Fiscal Health Indicator provides a graphic depiction of the Primary Reserve Ratio, which measures Unrestricted Reserves vs. Total Operating Expenses. This ratio is a measure of how long an entity could continue operations using only reserves, if all other revenues stopped. KPMG has recommended a target ratio of 40%. The source for this indicator is FY08 Audited Financial Statements.