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Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

Timing of IPEDS Preliminary and Provisional First Look Publications and Data Release

The process for publicly releasing IPEDS data consists of two steps: 1) issuing a Preliminary First Look, which contains edited, but not imputed data, and 2) later issuing a Provisional First Look, which contains fully edited and imputed data. Final data are published after institutions have had a chance to revise what they reported in the following year; these data are not issued with a First Look report.

The timing of the releases can vary somewhat depending on the nature of the internal process, but generally will follow this timetable:

Collection Period Survey Components Collection closes Preliminary data Provisional data Final (Revised) data
FALL IC, C, E12 November Early summer Approximately 9 months after collection closes Approximately 9 months after institutions have revised their data the following year
WINTER ADM, GR, SFA, OM March Early fall
SPRING EF, F, HR, AL April Mid-fall
First Look report released? Yes Yes No

The current review process has been in use since 2012, and continues to undergo improvements. However, approval of the data release is subject to multiple steps in the review process and unanticipated delays can occur. The goal of NCES is to maintain or improve the timeliness of data release on an annual basis. For additional information, refer to the Data Collection and Release Procedures Brochure.