What is IPEDS?

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of interrelated surveys that collect institutional-level data from all U.S. post-secondary institutions that participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs (as required by the Higher Education Act of 1965).  Submissions and trend data can be viewed in the IPEDS Data Center.

What data are collected?

The IPEDS survey collections cover five basic domains with individual variables defined in the IPEDS Glossary

  1. Student demographics (enrollment, completions, student-to-faculty ratio)
  2. Institutional demographics (contact information, award levels, programs of study, cost of attendance)
  3. Student financial aid (counts by aid type, average amounts of aid, net price calculator)
  4. Student retention and graduation (first-year retention, 4-year/6-year/8-year graduation)
  5. Institutional resources (human and financial)

Sources and Uses of IPEDS Data

The data reported in IPEDS can come from two sources; self-report or uploads by the Colorado Department of Higher Education through a process that originates with the Student Unit Record Data System (SURDS) files that are submit each semester. After data are in IPEDS, they are used for a variety of initiatives including in the Common Data Set, institutional rankings, college guide books, national studies, and the annual Data Feedback Report (DFR). The DFR is provided to us by NCES and is intended to provide context for examining the previous year’s data. It includes a variety of derived variables that are commonly queried in the IPEDS data set and compares CSU with our Board of Governors’ peer group.