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Shortcut: Create, Save, or Upload institutions

This chapter contains detailed instructions for making, changing, and saving a list of institutions to use when creating a data file or report in the IPEDS Data Center.

A wide range of customizable reports and analytical tools are available for data use in the IPEDS Use the Data. This section will also show how to save and upload the saved institutions for subsequent data center sessions. The steps for completing each task are explained in greater detail in later chapters of this user manual. It is important to note that regardless of which task you choose, the first step in creating any data file or report within the Data Center is to select the institutions that you want to compare or evaluate.

Step 1: Getting Started

To get started creating an institution group select a task from the Main Menu . If you would like to create an institution group without going to a task select the Create/Download an institution group, Save, or Upload institutions from the Shortcuts menu.

Creating an institution group can be done in several ways. The methods you choose will depend on your data needs and which report you are creating. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with each available method (visit the corresponding section or click on the links below to learn more about each):

  • By Names or UnitIDs
  • Selecting a Comparison Institution
  • By Groups
  • By Variables
  • By Uploading a File

As you select institutions, they will be stored in your My Institutions list for use during your current Data Center session. You can change this list at any time or save it for use in a later session. Visit the additional sections in this chapter listed below for more information or click on the links below to learn more about each:

  • Modifying the Institution Group
  • Downloading the Institution Group

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Critical information

You can reach the institution selection screen by choosing a Main Menu task or by clicking on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions shortcut on the home page. When selecting institutions by using the Create, Save, or Upload institutions shortcut, the option to download your list will be available

1.1 Selecting by Names or UnitIDs

This is the default method of selecting institutions for a data file or report. You can use this option to search for institutions by full or partial Institution Name or UnitID.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Key Terms: UnitID

The unique six (6) digit identifier assigned to all institutions that have submitted data to IPEDS.

Choose this option by clicking on the By Names or UnitIDs link from the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown in the example below. Type a full name, partial name, or UnitID in the search box provided. Search matches will display in a scrollable list just below the search box.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Hints & Tips

When searching for institutions by UnitID, you can enter just one UnitID or a list of multiple UnitIDs separated by commas. The latter option will greatly reduce the search time for larger institution groups.

You may select an individual institution by clicking directly on it, as shown below, or choose multiple institutions from the returned list by clicking on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

When selecting multiple institutions you will be redirected to a confirmation screen, as shown in the example below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Select the institutions to include in your current report by using the check box next to an institution’s ID. You can also click on Check All to select the entire list of institutions or Uncheck All to clear any selections you have made and start again. When you have finished selecting institutions, click Continue to finalize your My Institutions list.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Hints & Tips

To sort the list of institutions, click on the active column headers for Institution Name, City, or State. To sort the list in reverse order, click on the active column header a second time.

The finalized My Institutions list will display once you click Continue, and the number of selected institutions will update on the status bar, as shown below.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

You can add more institutions to this list by clicking on the By Names or UnitIDs link to search again, or by using one of the other available options from the Select Institutions toolbar. The Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button on the status bar can be selected at any time to make changes to the list of selected institutions.

When selecting institutions by using the Create, Save, or Upload institutions shortcut, you may click on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button to download your list.

1.2 Selecting a Comparison Institution

A Comparison Institution can be selected for most reports in the Data Center. The chosen Comparison Institution will display highlighted in your report results for easier comparison to its peers.

To select a Comparison Institution for the current task, click the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button on the Comparison Institution status bar, shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The Search for new comparison institution screen will open allowing you to select an institution to compare by searching for the name or UnitID, as shown below. If you have already selected institutions in your Data Center session, you may choose a school from your My Institutions list in the lower part of the pop up screen.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Once a Comparison Institution is selected, it will appear on the status bar at the top of the screen next to My Comparison Institution . The Change and Remove buttons can be used to edit this selection, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
1.3 Selecting by Groups

Institution groups may be generated from commonly used characteristics or by using previously determined groups. To access this option, place your cursor over By Groups on the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown below: Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The methods listed below are available for quickly creating an institution group (visit the corresponding section or click on the links below to learn more about each):

  • EZ Group
  • Automatic Group
  • Saved Group
1.3.1 EZ Group

The EZ Group method allows you to quickly create an institution group based on one or more frequently used criteria such as sector of institution, geographic location, or specialized educational mission (e.g. Historically Black College or University, Tribal College, etc.).

To choose this option, place your cursor over the By Groups option then click on EZ Group, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Once you have selected EZ Group, the page will refresh to the screen shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Start by selecting the IPEDS collection year that you would like to use for choosing your institution group. By default, the most recent data year available is selected as the data collection year, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Critical information

Changing the year will clear any selections that have already been made. The change year link is not available when creating a Comparison Group within the Customize DFR component. In this case, an EZ Group can only be generated based on the most recent universe year

Choose criteria under Select or Special missions (if any) for your institution group by using the checkboxes provided on screen.

Select additional criteria from the list Special Characteristics by clicking on one of the available category links. This will open the list of criteria on screen, as shown in the example below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Where applicable, click on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image icon to learn more about a specific category. Within each category, you may select the entire list of criteria by clicking Check All to or clear any selections you have made and start again by clicking Uncheck All . When you are done selecting criteria for a special characteristic, click Close to save your entries.

Any categories that you have selected criteria from will remain highlighted in orange. You may reopen the list of criteria at any time to change your selections.

If you have selected a Comparison Institution for the current report, the characteristics in each category that match the Comparison Institution are highlighted in orange and bolded for easier selection. In addition, a general summary will be present at the top of the screen, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Key Terms: Comparison Institution

A Comparison Institution, while not required, can be selected for most reports in the Data Center. This feature allows you to highlight an institution in a report and compare its variable values with those of a user-selected or system defined peer group.

As you select various criteria, they will display in the Criteria Summary box at the bottom of the screen for your reference, as shown in the example below. In addition, the system will automatically update the number of matching institutions in your potential institution group as you work. This count of institutions matching the selected characteristics will display next to the Clear and Search button, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Finalize all selections and continue to the My Institutions list by clicking Search or erase all selections by clicking on the Clear button. If you have already selected/uploaded institutions in this function, or while working in a previous function during the current Data Center session, you will be prompted to ‘Combine the two sets and eliminate duplicates’, ‘Keep only the institutions existing in the two sets’, or ‘Disregard the previous set and keep this one’.

The list of selected institutions will display on the My Institutions screen and the number of selected institutions will update on the status bar. You can add more institutions to this list by clicking on the By Names or UnitIDs link to search again, or by using one of the other available options from the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button on the status bar can be selected at any time to make changes to the list of selected institutions.

When selecting institutions by using the Create, Save, or Upload institutions shortcut, you may click on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button to download your list.

1.3.2 Automatic Group

Use this option to select the automatic peer group for an institution as developed by NCES. The Automatic Group option will be available only after a Comparison Institution for the current task is selected.

To utilize this option, place your cursor over the By Groups option then click on Automatic Group, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The system will automatically compile a list of peers for the selected Comparison Institution and add them to the My Institutions list for the current report. If you have already selected/uploaded institutions in this function, or while working in a previous function during the current Data Center session, you will be prompted to ‘Combine the two sets and eliminate duplicates’, ‘Keep only the institutions existing in the two sets’, or ‘Disregard the previous set and keep this one’.

The list of selected institutions will display on the My Institutions screen and the number of selected institutions will update on the status bar. You can add more institutions to this list by clicking on the By Names or UnitIDs link to search again, or by using one of the other available options from the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button on the status bar can be selected at any time to make changes to the list of selected institutions.

When selecting institutions by using the Create, Save, or Upload institutions shortcut, you may click on the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button to download your list.

1.3.3 Saved Group

Similar to the Automatic Group option, the Saved Group option allows you to load a saved institution group for a selected Comparison Institution defined by the institution itself.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Critical information

Saved Groups are not available for all institutions. If a Saved Group is not available for the specified Comparison Institution, a message will appear prompting you to select another means of creating an institution group

If you have already selected or uploaded institutions in your current Data Center session, you will be prompted to ‘Combine the two sets and eliminate duplicates’, ‘Keep only the institutions existing in the two sets’, or ‘Disregard the previous set and keep this one’.

The list of institutions will display on the My Institutions screen and the number of selected institutions will update on the status bar. On this screen you have the option to select another method of adding institutions from the Select Institutions toolbar or modify the current list, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
1.4 Selecting by Variables

The By Variables method allows you to search for institutions using any IPEDS variable or combination of variables. For example, you can access this option to select all institutions in the state of California with a total enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

To access this option, place your cursor over the By Variables link from the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Start by choosing the variables that you want to use to define your institution group using one of the methods outlined below. If you have already selected/uploaded variables for a previous function during the current Data Center session, your existing My Variables list is displayed. Up to 20 variables can be selected to use as criteria for creating an institution group.

Browse/Search Variables
Browse the IPEDS Variable Tree by current year or survey, or search all variables by name or keyword.

Choose From My Variables
Choose from a list of any stored variables you have already selected and/or uploaded during the current session.

Create Derived Variables
Derive new variables using the existing IPEDS variables.

Upload Variables
Upload a saved variable list from a previous session.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Key Terms: My Variables

As you navigate the Data Center, selecting IPEDS variables for various functions and purposes, these variables are stored in the My Variables list for easy access.

Any new variables that are selected during this process will be added to the My Variables list, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Choose the variables for defining your institution group by clicking on the checkbox next to the variable you wish to select. Several other controls for variable list modification include the following:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image -- Select this option to edit the selected data years for a single variable. When the related pop-up screen is displayed, click on the corresponding checkboxes to select/unselect data years for the specified variable. When finished, click Save to apply these changes and return to the My Variables list.
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image -- Select this option to delete the corresponding variable from the My Variables list.
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image -- Select this option to add or delete data years for all variables from a particular section. When the related pop-up screen is displayed, click on the corresponding checkboxes to select/unselect data years. When finished, click Save to apply these changes and return to the My Variables list.

To clear all selections and start over, use the Create, Save, or Upload institutions image button. When finished, click Continue.

You will be redirected to the Institution Selection Form (shown below). If a Comparison Institution for the current task is selected, the Comparison Institution Value for each variable will display on the right side of the screen, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

On this screen you must enter a search value for each variable. Click on a variable to open the corresponding Search Value(s) pop-up screen, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Depending on the type of variable selected, you will be prompted to enter a search value(s) in one of two ways:

  • By selecting one or more values from a list of available options (as shown in the example above); or
  • By entering numeric values and using operators to define the search criteria. Numeric entries must be in the form of whole numbers and should not contain any special characters (e.g. commas, decimals, dollar signs, etc.). The only exception to this is ratio defined variables where use of a decimal point is required to enter search values. Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

    For example, you may select the >= operator and enter 10000 to locate institutions with a total enrollment greater than or equal to 10,000 students, as shown below.

    Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

When the search values for a particular variable have been entered, click Save to save the entries and close the pop-up screen. Repeat this process for each of the variables in the Institutions Selection Form . Reopen the Search Value(s) window for any variable at any time to modify the selections.

Once you have specified search values for each of the variables in the Institutions Selection Form, click Submit. Any institutions that match the specified criteria will be added to the My Institutions list for the current task. If you have already selected/uploaded institutions in this function, or while working in a previous function during the current Data Center session, you will be prompted to ‘Combine the two sets and eliminate duplicates’, ‘Keep only the institutions existing in the two sets’, or ‘Disregard the previous set and keep this one’.

1.5 Selecting by Uploading a File

If an institution group was previously created and saved, it can be retrieved at any time by clicking on the By Uploading a File link from the Select Institutions toolbar, as shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

Critical information

A Power User account is required to upload Variable List files to the Data Center. Click on the link to Login, and then enter the User Name and Password when prompted. To obtain a Power User account click on Login then click the link to Create an account.

Once you have logged in, retrieve the file by entering the complete path and filename in the box provided, as shown below; or use the Browse button to locate the file on your computer’s hard drive. Institution group files will have a filename extension of .uid .

Once the file is selected, click Submit to upload the saved institution group. If you have already selected or uploaded institutions for your current task, or while working in a previous task during the current Data Center session, you will be prompted to ‘Combine the two sets and eliminate duplicates’, ‘Keep only the institutions existing in the two sets’, or ‘Disregard the previous set and keep this one’. The uploaded institutions will automatically be added to the My Institutions list for the current task.

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image
Step 2: Modifying the Institution Group

As institutions are selected, they will be added to the My Institutions list. The institutions in this list are stored throughout the current Data Center session for use with any generated data files or reports. Add more institutions to the list at any time by clicking on one of the available options under the Select Institutions tab.

To make changes to the list, click on the Modify button at the top right of the displayed list; then use the corresponding check boxes to select the institutions to keep or remove using the following options to finalize your selections:

Keep Selected
Using the checkboxes provided, select the institutions to keep in the institution group; then click on Keep Selected. Any institutions that have not been selected will be removed from the list.
Remove Selected
Using the checkboxes, identify any institutions to remove from the institution group; then click on Remove Selected to delete them from the list.
Remove All
Select this option to delete all of the existing institutions from the institution group.
Step 3: Downloading the Institution Group

You may download the institution group in zipped, .uid format. To do this, select the Create/Download institution group option from the Main Menu ; then, from the My Institutions view, click on Export . This is shown below:

Create, Save, or Upload institutions image

The browser will walk you through the file save process. The filename extension for the saved institution group will be .uid .