Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Custom Comparison Groups

This Week in IPEDS  June 2, 2011

Custom Comparison Groups

All IPEDS Keyholders are invited to create a custom comparison group for use in the 2011 IPEDS Data Feedback Report (DFR), which will be mailed to the institution’s CEO/President (and emailed to Keyholders) this fall.

Creating a custom comparison group is not required; however, we highly encourage institutions to take advantage of this opportunity to make their Data Feedback Report more useful. If you do not create (and upload) a custom comparison group for your institution by July 15, 2011, and you have not previously uploaded a group, NCES will generate a group for you.

The DFR compares your institution to the comparison group in such areas as: Unduplicated headcount, fall enrollment, student FTE, core revenues and expenses, tuition and fees, staff FTE and instructional staff salaries, financial aid, net price, and graduation rates.

Once you’ve decided which institutions to include, you can create the custom comparison group for the report using the IPEDS Data Center ( or within the Data Collection System under the Tools menu. Instructions for creating a group are located under the Help menu, and also are available at: Once created, the group must be uploaded within the Data Collection System using the “Comparison Group Edit/Upload” located under the Tools menu.

If you submitted a custom comparison group in the past, the same group will be retained for the 2011 Data Feedback Report unless you choose to submit a new one. But even if you do not want to make any changes to last year’s group, please log into the data collection system and verify that the group is as you want it. Changes in the IPEDS universe due to institution closures and mergers may have modified your group.

If you are unsure about which institutions to include in your comparison group, you may want to take advantage of a Webinar that the Association for Institutional Research has made available on their website called Creating Comparison Groups:

You may also contact the IPEDS Help Desk at 1-877-225-2568 (or by email at if you need assistance creating and/or uploading a custom comparison group.

IPEDS Help Desk

This Weeks in IPEDS - August 19, 2014

Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey


No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education