Federal Support Survey

Technical Notes

Type of Institution


Universities and colleges TOP

Universities and colleges are those institutions of higher education in the United States that offer at least 1 year of college-level study leading toward a degree. A university or college comprises all parts of an academic institution, such as colleges of liberal arts, professional schools, hospitals, schools of agriculture, and agricultural experiment stations, including bureaus, offices, and research centers (excluding FFRDCs), whether located on or off the main campus, and branch campuses controlled directly by the parent institution. The universe of academic institutions that is the foundation of this survey is derived from the higher education institutions' portion of the Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics, and the 1993 Higher Education Directory, published by Higher Education Publications, Inc.

Institutions included are those that received Federal support during fiscal year 1992 and possessed a significant degree of academic and administrative autonomy. Institutions within a system (a group of institutions having a collective legal status and generally recognized by a State government, a board of education, or other relevant organization) in which a significant degree of autonomy remains at the individual institution level are presented separately; obligations to branch campuses are included in the totals for their parent institutions. The study excludes all obligations to the service academies and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.

Independent nonprofit institutions TOP

Independent nonprofit institutions are legal entities other than universities and colleges, are privately organized or chartered to serve the public interest, and are exempt from most forms of Federal taxation. Data presented for nonprofit institutions and for nonprofit-administered FFRDCs are obligations for R&D and R&D plant reported by the 15 participating agencies.

Coverage of the nonprofit section in the Federal Support Survey was expanded beginning in the late 1970s to include all types of nonprofit institutions that receive Federal R&D funds. For NSF purposes the types of institutions are defined as follows:

  1. Research institute. A separately incorporated, independent nonprofit organization operating under the direction of its own controlling body, the primary function of which is the performance of R&D in the sciences and engineering.

  2. Voluntary hospital. A member of the American Hospital Association not subject to the control of either Federal, State, or local governments, nor an integral part of any institution of higher education. Hospitals that have been set up by research institutes and that, although providing patient care, function primarily as laboratories for the research institutes are included in the "Research institute" category.

  3. All other independent nonprofit institutions.

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