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Creating a Custom Comparison Group for the 2009 IPEDS Data Feedback Report

Dear IPEDS Keyholder:

Now that the IPEDS 2008-09 data collection has closed, I am writing to you with an opportunity. I invite all IPEDS Keyholders to create a custom comparison group for use in the 2009 IPEDS Data Feedback Report. The report will be mailed to your institutionís CEO/President (and emailed to you) this fall.

Completing 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 submit a custom comparison by July 14, IPEDS will generate one for you for the report. However, institutions that designate the other institutions to which they want to be compared in the report generally find the report more informative. The Data Feedback Report compares your institution to its group in such areas as:

  • Unduplicated headcount, fall enrollment, and student FTE
  • Core revenues and expenses
  • Tuition and fees
  • Staff FTE and instructional staff salaries
  • Graduation rates and completions

If you submitted a custom comparison group in the past, the same group will be retained for the 2009 Data Feedback Report unless you choose to submit a new one.

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: (scroll down to the bottom of the page under Data Analysis Tools). Once youíve decided which institutions to include, you can create the custom comparison group for the report using either the IPEDS Executive Peer Tool (ExPT) or the Peer Analysis System (PAS). Then the comparison group can be uploaded to the web-based data collection system.

Detailed instructions for creating a custom comparison group have been posted to the IPEDS website at:

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


Elise S. Miller
IPEDS Program Director

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