The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of survey components that collects data from all institutions that provide postsecondary education and are eligible to receive Title IV funding across the United States and other U.S. jurisdictions.
These data are used at the federal and state level for policy analysis and development; at the institutional level for benchmarking and peer analysis; and by students and parents, through the College Navigator (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/), an online tool to aid in the college search process. Additional information about IPEDS can be found on the website at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds.
What Is the Purpose of This Report?
The Data Feedback Report is intended to provide institutions a context for examining the data they submitted to IPEDS. The purpose of this report is to provide institutional executives a useful resource and to help improve the quality and comparability of IPEDS data.
What Is in This Report?
The figures in this report provide a selection of indicators for your institution to compare with a group of similar institutions. The figures draw from the data collected during the 2020-21 IPEDS collection cycle and are the most recent data available. The inside cover of this report lists the pre-selected comparison group of institutions and the criteria used for their selection. The Methodological Notes at the end of the report describe additional information about these indicators and the pre-selected comparison group.
Where Can I Do More with IPEDS Data?
Each institution can access previously released Data Feedback Reports from 2005 and customize this 2021 report by using a different comparison group and IPEDS variables of its choosing. To learn how to customize the 2021 report, visit this resource page https://nces.ed.gov/Ipeds/Help/View/2. To download archived reports or customize the current Data Feedback Report, visit the Use the Data portal on the IPEDS website https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds and click on Data Feedback Report.
Great Falls College Montana State University Great Falls, MT
Comparison group data are included to provide a context for interpreting your institutions indicators. If your institution did not define a custom comparison group for this report by July 15, 2021 NCES selected a comparison group for you. (In this case, the characteristics used to define the comparison group appears below.) The customized Data Feedback Report function available at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data/ can be used to reproduce the figures in this report using different peer groups.
The custom comparison group chosen by Great Falls College Montana State University includes the following 34 institutions:
The figures in this report have been organized and ordered into the following topic areas:
1) Admissions (only for non-open-admissions schools)
[No charts applicable]
2) Student Enrollment
1, 2, 3 and 4
3 and 4
4) Charges and Net Price
6 and 7
5) Student Financial Aid
8 and 9
6) Military Benefits*
[No charts applicable]
7) Retention and Graduation Rates
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18
5, 6, 7 and 8
19 and 20
21 and 22
9 and 10
23 and 24
*These figures only appear in customized Data Feedback Reports (DFRs), which are available through Use the Data portal on the IPEDS website.
This report is based on data supplied by institutions to IPEDS during 2020-21 data collection year. Response rates exceeded 99% for most surveys. IPEDS data release memos at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data/survey-components provide an overview of the number of institutions responding to the survey components. Furthermore, data used in this report are provisional level and may be revised for a limited time through the IPEDS Prior Year Revision system.
Use of Median Values for Comparison Group
This report compares your institutions data to the median value for the comparison group for each indicator shown in the figure. If more than one indicator is present in a figure, the median values are determined separately for each indicator. Medians are not displayed for comparison groups with fewer than three values. Where percentage distributions are presented, median values may not add to 100%. To access all the data used to create the figures included in this report, go to Use the Data portal on the IPEDS website at this provided link (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds).
If a indicator is not reported for your institution, the omission indicates that the indicator is not relevant to your institution and the data were not collected. Not all notes may be applicable to your report.
Use of Imputed Data
All IPEDS data are subject to imputation for total (institutional) and partial (item) nonresponse. If necessary, imputed values were used to prepare your report.
IPEDS data are not collected under a pledge of confidentiality.
Disaggregation of Data by Race/Ethnicity
When applicable, some indicators are disaggregated by race/ethnicity. Data disaggregated by race/ethnicity have been reported using the 1997 Office of Management and Budget categories. Detailed information about the race/ethnicity categories can be found at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/Section/Resources.>
Cohort Determination for Reporting Student Financial Aid, Graduation Rates, and Outcome Measures
Student cohorts for reporting Student Financial Aid and Graduation Rates data are based on the reporting type of the institution. For institutions that report based on an academic year (those operating on standard academic terms), student counts and cohorts are based on fall term data. Student counts and cohorts for program reporters (those that do not operate on standard academic terms) are based on unduplicated counts of students enrolled during a full 12-month period.
Student cohorts for reporting Outcome Measures are based on a full-year cohort from July 1-June 30 for all degree-granting institutions.
DESCRIPTION OF INDICATORS USED IN THE FIGURES
Admissions (only for non-open-admissions schools)
Admissions and Test Score Data
Admissions and test score data are presented only for institutions that do not have an open admission policy, and apply to first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students only. Applicants include only those students who fulfilled all requirements for consideration for admission and who were notified of one of the following actions: admission, non-admission, placement on a wait list, or application withdrawn (by applicant or institution). Admitted applicants (admissions) include wait-listed students who were subsequently offered admission. Early decision, early action, and students who began studies during the summer prior to the fall reporting period are included. For customized Data Feedback Reports, test scores are presented only if scores are required for admission.
12-month Enrollment captures a cumulative unduplicated headcount of enrollment over the full 12-month period beginning July 1 and ending June 30. In contrast, Fall Enrollment captures number of students enrolled on a particular date in the fall. Fall enrollment is often referred to as a "snapshot" of an institutions enrollment at a specific time.
The full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment used in this report is the sum of the institutions FTE undergraduate enrollment and FTE graduate enrollment (as calculated from or reported on the 12-month Enrollment component). Undergraduate and graduate FTE are estimated using 12-month instructional activity (credit and/or contact hours). See Calculation of FTE Students (using instructional activity) in the IPEDS Glossary at https://surveys.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/VisGlossaryAll.aspx.
Completions and Completers
Completions collects data on undergraduate and graduate completions and completers in a 12-month period. Completions are the counts of postsecondary awards granted where each award reported once but multiple awards may be reported for one recipient. Completers are the counts of students granted postsecondary awards. The count of completers is collected in two ways. The first way counts all completers, while the second way counts completers by award level (e.g., number of associates completers, number of bachelors completers).
Student Financial Aid
Financial Aid Recipients and Amounts
Student Financial Aid collects the counts of undergraduate students awarded different types of financial aid and the total amounts of aid awarded. The average dollar amount of aid awarded is then calculated. In addition, Student Financial Aid collects counts of full-time, first-time undergraduate student awarded aid and amounts of aid, and counts and disbursed amounts for undergraduate and graduate students receiving military education benefits.
Charges and Average Net Price
Average Institutional Net Price
IPEDS collects data to calculate average net price at each institution for two groups of undergraduate students: those awarded grant and scholarship aid and those awarded Title IV federal aid.
Average net price is calculated for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates who were awarded grant or scholarship aid from the federal government, state/local government, or the institution anytime during the academic year. For public institutions, this includes only students who paid the in-state or in-district tuition rate. Other sources of grant aid are excluded. Average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, and institutional grant and scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees (lower of in-district or in-state for public institutions), books and supplies, and the weighted average of room and board, and other expenses.
For the purpose of the IPEDS reporting, aid awarded refers to financial aid that was awarded to, and accepted by, a student. This amount may differ from the aid amount that is disbursed to a student.
Retention, Graduation Rates, and Outcome Measures
Retention rates are measures of the rate at which students persist in their educational program at an institution, expressed as a percentage. For four-year institutions, this is the percentage of first-time bachelors (or equivalent) degree-seeking undergraduates from the previous fall who are again enrolled in the current fall. For all other institutions this is the percentage of first-time degree/certificate-seeking students from the previous fall who either re-enrolled or successfully completed their program by the current fall. The full-time retention rate is calculated using the percentage of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates, while the part-time rate is calculated using the percentage of part-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates.
Graduation Rates and Transfer-out Rate
Graduation rates are those developed to satisfy the requirements of the Student Right-to-Know Act and Higher Education Act, as amended, and are defined as the total number of individuals from a given cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates who completed a degree or certificate within a given percent of normal time to complete all requirements of the degree or certificate program; divided by the total number of students in the cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates minus any allowable exclusions. Institutions are permitted to exclude from the cohort students who died or were totally and permanently disabled; those who left school to serve in the armed forces or were called up to active duty; those who left to serve with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; and those who left to serve on an official church mission.
A further extension of the traditional Graduation Rates (GR) component which carries forward 100% and 150% graduation rates data previously reported in the GR component is the Graduation Rates 200% (GR200) component, which requests information on any additional completers and exclusions from the cohort between 151% and 200% normal time for students to complete all requirements of their program of study.
Transfer-out rate is the total number of students from the cohort who are known to have transferred out of the reporting institution (without earning a degree/award) and subsequently re-enrolled at another institution within the same time period; divided by the same adjusted cohort (initial cohort minus allowable exclusions) as described above. Only institutions with a mission that includes providing substantial preparation for students to enroll in another eligible institution are required to report transfers out.
Outcome Measures Data
Alternative measures of student success are reported by degree-granting institutions to describe the outcomes of four degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate student groups: First-time, full-time (FTFT); First-time, part-time (FTPT); Non-first-time, full-time entering (NFTFT); and Non-first-time, part-time entering (NFTPT). Additionally, each of the four cohorts collects data on two subcohorts: Pell grant recipients and non-Pell grant recipients. These measures provide the 4-year, 6-year, and 8-year award rates (or completions rates) after entering an institution. NCES calculates award rates by dividing a cohorts or subcohorts adjusted cohort into the number of total awards at 4-year, 6-year, and 8-year status points.
The initial cohort can be revised and take allowable exclusions resulting in an adjusted cohort. Institutions are permitted to exclude from the initial cohort students who died or were totally and permanently disabled; those who left school to serve in the armed forces or were called up to active duty; those who left to serve with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; and those who left to serve on an official church mission.
The highest award and the type of award (i.e., certificate, Associates, or Bachelors) are reported at each status point. For students who did not earn an undergraduate award after 8-years of entry, the enrollment statuses are reported as either still enrolled at the institution, or subsequently transferred out of the institution. Unlike the Graduation Rates data, all institutions must report on a full-year cohort (students entering July 1 of one year to June 30 to the next) and on their transfer out students, regardless if the institution has a mission that provides substantial transfer preparation.
Core revenues for public institutions reporting under GASB standards include tuition and fees; government (federal, state, and local) appropriations and operating and nonoperating grants/contracts; private gifts, grants, and contracts (private operating grants/contracts plus gifts and contributions from affiliated entities); sales and services of educational activities; investment income; other operating and nonoperating sources; and other revenues and additions (capital appropriations and grants and additions to permanent endowments). Other core revenues include federal appropriations, sales and services of educational activities, other operating and nonoperating sources, and other revenues and additions.
Core revenues for private, not-for-profit institutions (and a small number of public institutions) reporting under FASB standards include tuition and fees; government (federal, state, and local) appropriations and grants/contracts; private gifts, grants and contracts (including contributions from affiliated entities); investment return; sales and services of educational activities; and other sources (a generated category of total revenues minus the sum of core and noncore categories on the Finance component). Other core revenues include government (federal, state, and local) appropriations, sales and services of educational activities, and other sources.
Core revenues for private, for-profit institutions reporting under FASB standards include tuition and fees; government (federal, state, and local) appropriations and grants/contracts; private grants/ contracts; investment income; sales and services of educational activities; and other sources (a generated category of total revenues minus the sum of core and noncore categories on the Finance component). Other core revenues include government (federal, state, and local) appropriations and other sources.
At degree-granting institutions, core revenues exclude revenues from auxiliary enterprises (e.g., bookstores and dormitories), hospitals, and independent operations. Non-degree-granting institutions do no report revenue from auxiliary enterprises in a separate category, and thus may include these amounts in the core revenues from other sources.
Core expenses include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, scholarships and fellowships (GASB) or net grant aid to students (FASB) and other expenses. Core expenses exclude expenses for auxiliary enterprises, hospitals, and independent operations. Other core expenses is the sum of grant aid/scholarships and fellowships and other expenses.
Endowment assets, for public institutions under GASB standards, and private, not-for-profit institutions under FASB standards, include gross investments of endowment funds, term endowment funds, and funds functioning as endowment for the institution and any of its foundations and other affiliated organizations. Private, for-profit institutions under FASB do not hold or report endowment assets.
Salaries and Wages
Salaries and wages for public institutions under GASB standards and private (not-for-profit and for-profit) institutions under FASB standards, include amounts paid as compensation for services to all employees regardless of the duration of service, and amounts made to or on behalf of an individual over and above that received in the form of a salary or wage.
The full-time-equivalent (FTE) by occupational category is calculated by summing the total number of full-time staff and adding one-third of the total number of part-time staff. Occupational categories include instructional staff, research staff, public service staff, instructional support staff, management staff, and other occupations. Instructional staff are primarily engaged in teaching and do a combination of teaching, research, and/or public service. Research staff are staff whose primary function is research while public service staff are staff whose primary function is public service. Instructional support occupations include archivists, curators, and museum technicians; librarians and media collections specialists; librarian technicians; student and academic affairs and other education services occupations. Other staff include staff in service occupations; sales and related occupations; office and administrative support occupations; natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; production, transportation and material moving occupations; and military specific occupations. Graduate assistants are not included.
Equated Instructional Non-Medical Staff Salaries
Institutions reported the number of full-time nonmedical instructional staff and their salary outlays by academic rank, gender, and the number of months worked (9-, 10-, 11-, and 12-months). Salary outlays for staff who worked 10-, 11-, and 12-months were equated to 9-months of work by multiplying the outlays reported for 10-months by 0.90, the outlays reported for 11 months by 0.818, and the outlays reported for 12-months by 0.75. The equated 10-, 11-, and 12-outlays were then added to the outlays for instructional staff that worked 9-months to generate a total 9-month equated salary outlay. The total 9-month equated outlay was then divided by total number of instructional non-medical staff to determine an equated 9-month average salary. This calculation was done for each academic rank. Salary outlays were not reported for staff that work less than 9-months and were excluded.
Institutions can provide their institutions student-to-faculty ratio (i.e., student-to-instructional staff) for undergraduate programs or follow the NCES guidance in calculating their student-to-faculty ratio, which is as follows: the number of FTE students (using Fall Enrollment survey data) divided by total FTE instructional staff (using the total Primarily instruction + Instruction/research/public service staff reported in Human Resources component and adding any not primarily instructional staff that are teaching a credit course). For this calculation, FTE for students is equal to the number of the full-time students plus one-third the number of part-time students; FTE for instructional staff is similarly calculated. Students in "stand-alone" graduate or professional programs (such as, medicine, law, veterinary, dentistry, social work, or public health) and instructional staff teaching in these programs are excluded from the FTE calculations.
Additional resources on the IPEDS Data Feedback Report, including the instructions on creating a custom comparison report, FAQs, and video tutorials, can be found at https://nces.ed.gov/Ipeds/Help/View/2.