IPEDS is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. It is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). IPEDS gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that institutions that participate in federal student aid programs report data on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid. These data are made available to students and parents through the College Navigator college search Web site and to researchers and others through the IPEDS Data Center.
IPEDS provides basic data needed to describe — and analyze trends in — postsecondary education in the United States, in terms of the numbers of students enrolled, staff employed, dollars expended, and degrees earned. Congress, federal agencies, state governments, education providers, professional associations, private businesses, media, students and parents, and others rely on IPEDS data for this basic information on postsecondary institutions.
IPEDS forms the institutional sampling frame for other NCES postsecondary surveys, such as the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study and the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty.
The completion of all IPEDS surveys is mandatory for institutions that participate in or are applicants for participation in any federal student financial aid program (such as Pell grants and federal student loans) authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 USC 1094, Section 487(a)(17) and 34 CFR 668.14(b)(19)).
More than 7,500 institutions complete IPEDS surveys each year. These include research universities, state colleges and universities, private religious and liberal arts colleges, for-profit institutions, community and technical colleges, non-degree-granting institutions such as beauty colleges, and others.
To find out if a particular institution reports to IPEDS, go to College Navigator and search by the institution name.
IPEDS collects data on postsecondary education in the United States in seven areas: institutional characteristics, institutional prices, enrollment, student financial aid, degrees and certificates conferred, student persistence and success, and institutional human and fiscal resources.
Institutional characteristics data are the foundation of the entire IPEDS system. These include basic institutional contact information, tuition and fees, room and board charges, control or affiliation, type of calendar system, levels of awards offered, types of programs, and admissions requirements.
IPEDS collects institutional pricing data from institutions for first-time, full-time, degree- or certificate-seeking undergraduate students. This includes tuition and fee data as well as information on the estimated student budgets for students based on living situations (on-campus or off-campus).
Because enrollment patterns differ greatly among the various types of postsecondary institutions, there is a need for both different measures of enrollment and several indicators of access. In IPEDS, the following enrollment-related data are collected:
IPEDS collects data on the number of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who receive different types of student financial aid, including grants and loans, from different sources at each institution. IPEDS also collects data to show the average dollar amount of aid received by these students. Finally, as a result of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, IPEDS collects data to calculate the average net price at each institution for the following two groups: (1) full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who receive grant and scholarship aid; and (2) full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who receive Title IV federal student aid.
IPEDS collects data on the number of students who complete a postsecondary education program by type of program and level of award (certificate or degree). Type of program is categorized according to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) [link], a detailed coding system for postsecondary instructional programs. These data provide information on the number and location of completers by field. Business and industry, the military, and other groups that need to recruit individuals with particular skills use these data extensively. The data also help satisfy the mandate in the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act for information on completions in postsecondary career and technical education programs.
IPEDS collects two types of data to help track postsecondary student progress and success.
IPEDS collects institutional data on human resources and finances.