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Baseline Comparison Group (BCG)

The baseline groupings in the dashboard provide comparison groups unique to each academic institution. Each baseline group is similar to a UT institution in baseline characteristics such as size, student/faculty characteristics, academic programs, and research emphases. The Office of Strategic Initiatives used nationally recognized best-practice statistical methodology to identify these baseline groups for each academic university. Find out more about the BCG and benchmarking.

Baccalaureate-Level Certificate

An upper-level undergraduate certificate requiring completion of an organized program of study that includes 21-36 hours in disciplinary areas where the institution already offers an undergraduate degree program.

Baccalaureate Degrees (used by IPEDS - Completions)

An award (baccalaureate or equivalent degree, as determined by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education) that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work.

Books and Supplies (used by IPEDS)

The average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for an entire academic year (or program). Does not include unusual costs for special groups of students (e.g., engineering or art majors), unless they constitute the majority of students at the institution.

Black or African-American

A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree

Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both. Often used more generally to refer to any baccalaureate degree.


Person responsible for repaying a loan who has signed and agreed to the terms in the promissory note.