Official Census Dates

While student information changes continuously throughout the year on PeopleSoft (PS), static sets of student data are captured and housed on the UNLV Data Warehouse. These point-in-time or census data sets are commonly used in institutional reporting and analysis, and are designed to facilitate information delivery to a variety of campus data users. Official census data are captured on specific dates that adhere to nationally established reporting standards, and are determined in collaboration among data developers and various University data custodians.

While unofficial census tables are populated on a regular basis, in some cases every 24 hours, the official census tables for admissions and enrollment are captured at the beginning and the end of each term. At the beginning of the term, the official preliminary census is typically captured three weeks into the semester, on the third Friday after instruction begins. Up until fall 2012, the official final census was typically captured on the first Friday after the last day of class,  and a second 'final + grades' enrollment census was captured after all grades were posted.  Beginning with fall 2012, the official final census date was adjusted to allow for grades to be posted for all formula-funded enrollments.  That is, for fall 2012 and later, there is one official final census capture with grades.

Nationally established standards for enrollment reporting require that the official preliminary census date is the point at which an institution's enrollment is determined. Therefore, we use official preliminary census data to run student demographic and enrollment trend analyses (e.g., by gender, ethnicity or academic majors). Preliminary data are also used to establish cohorts for student retention and graduation rate studies. Official final census data are used for NSHE enrollment reporting, and in other contexts for which end-of-term data are appropriate, such as grade distribution studies.  


Official census dates are determined in collaboration with the Office of Admissions, the Registrar, and the Graduate College. To ensure as accurate census data as possible, data audits and clean-up processes—a coordinated effort among the Office of Decision Support, the Offices of the Admissions and the Registrar, the Graduate College, and the Professional Schools—take place during the weeks leading up to each official census capture. 


Note: PeopleSoft became UNLV’s system of record for student information beginning in Fall 2010. A listing of official census dates beginning with Fall 2010 is provided here. A historical listing for earlier terms, through Summer 2010 when SIS was UNLV’s system of record, is posted here.