Yes count them, if they were enrolled during 2015-16.  It doesn't matter if they were new, continuing, re-admitted, or what.  If they were taking classes for credit, count them.

Possibly your question is caused by the word "enrolled", and the question of re-admitted students.  "Enrolled" here does not mean "newly enrolled" (i.e. matriculating); it simply means was the student taking classes or not.

Thus the formula that you cite is a risky one to use:

FA15 + WI16 (new, first time and transfer students) = unduplicated headcount

First, as you have already noticed, it fails to include the re-admitted students.  

Also I would worry that there might be additional students who are neglected by that formula, what we might call "re-entering" students:  students who were temporarily not enrolled in FA 2015 but who re-entered WI 2016.  Is it possible to do that without having to be formally re-admitted, e.g. if the student took a temporary leave from school in FA 2015?  Or if you have non-degree seeking students who take classes sporadically, continually departing and re-entering, and who never get formally admitted (nor re-admitted) because they are not degree-seeking students.

If you school has airtight categories for students who leave and return including all of the non-degree seeking students then there is no problem but that's a fairly tall order.  

I.e. if your school can track all of the 

WI16 new, first-time and transfer students and re-admitted students and re-entering students

then you're fine but none of the schools that I have worked at have carefully tracked the non-degree seeking students; they could depart and re-enter and we never recorded that, we simply recorded them as being a non-degree seeking student.

And so the sporadic non-degree seeking students would be left out of the formula that your school is using.  

A safer procedure is to simply collect every single FA15 and WI16 student, eliminate the duplicates (this assumes that you have reliable ID numbers for uniquely identifying students), and count the resulting unduplicated list.


Greetings all:

I know it's Friday and I should be home but...  How does your institution count IPEDS unduplicated headcount data for a given academic year?

Our institution uses:  FA15 + WI16 (new, first time and transfer students) = unduplicated headcount.

However, do you count the readmitted students who left on another academic year and returns on the academic year being reported? For example, if a student enrolled FA 13, left on December 2013, and returned WI 16, should that student be counted or not in the 2015-2016 unduplicated headcount?    Since this student was counted in FA-13, should he/she be left out of the headcount, even though he/she is enrolled for credits in the current reporting period?

The 2015-2016 glossary indicates that "unduplicated count is the sum of students enrolled for credit with each student counted only once during the reporting period, regardless of when the student enrolled. "   So, does "when the student enrolled" refer to the reporting period?

Thank you for your time.

Prof. Ana Inés Landrón Arana
Oficina de Planificación, Investigación
Institucional y Recursos Externos