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IPEDS Survey Components and Data Collection Cycle

IPEDS consists of twelve interrelated survey components that are collected over three collection periods (Fall, Winter, and Spring) each year.

  Fall Winter Spring
Collection Opens Early September Early December Early December
Collection Closes Mid October Mid February Mid April
Survey components Institutional Characteristics (includes pricing data)
12-Month Enrollment
Student Financial Aid
Graduation Rates
200% Graduation Rates
Outcome Measures
Fall Enrollment
Human Resources
Academic Libraries

IPEDS Survey Components

Fall Collection

Component Cycle Data
Institutional Characteristics (IC) Annual Data collected in the Institutional Characteristics survey provide general information about the institution. Data collected include:
  • Institution address, telephone number, and website;
  • Educational offerings and mission statements;
  • Control/affiliation, award levels, and calendar system;
  • Student charges, including tuition and required fees and room and board charges for institutions with full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students.
Completions (C) Annual Completions data are collected for award levels ranging from postsecondary certificates of less than 1 year to doctoral degrees. Data collected include:
  • Degree completions by level and other formal awards by length of program, by race/ethnicity and gender of recipient, and by program (6-digit CIP code).
  • Beginning in 2012, IPEDS begin collecting data on the number of completers at an institution by gender, by race and ethnicity, and by age. These data are collected at the total as well as by award level.
IPEDS also collects information on the number of students receiving degrees with double majors by 6-digit CIP code (for the second major) and by race/ethnicity and gender of recipient.
12-Month Enrollment (E12) Annual 12-month enrollment data are collected for undergraduate and graduate levels. The 12-month reporting period is July 1-June 30. Data collected/calculated include:
  • Unduplicated headcounts by level of student and by race/ethnicity and gender,
  • Instructional activity (contact or credit hours); and
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment (calculated based on instructional activity).
FTE is used in computing expenses by function per FTE and revenues per FTE, which are reported on the IPEDS Data Feedback Report.

Winter Collection

Component Cycle Data
Student Financial Aid (SFA) Annual Financial aid and military benefits are collected for students.
  • Section 1 of SFA collects financial aid data for undergraduate students. Additional, data are collected for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students to calculate the annual average net price of college attendance in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  • Section 2 of SFA collects military servicemembers and veteran’s benefits (DoD Tuition Assistance Program and VA Post 9/11 GI Bill) for undergraduate and graduate students.
Graduation Rates (GR) Annual Graduation rates data are collected for full-time, first-time degree and certificate-seeking undergraduate students. Data collected include:
  • Number of students entering the institution as full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking students in a particular year (cohort), by race/ethnicity and gender;
  • Number of students completing their program within a time period equal to one and a half times (150%) the normal period of time; and
  • Number of students who transferred to other institutions
This survey was developed to help institutions comply with requirements of Student Right-to-Know.
200% Graduation Rates (GR200) Annual Graduation rates data are collected for full-time, first-time, degree- and certificate-seeking undergraduate students. Numbers of students who completed within their program’s normal time to completion, 150% of normal time, and 200% of normal time are used to calculate the graduation rates. This survey was developed to fulfill requirements in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.
Outcome Measures (OM) Annual The Outcome Measures component collects outcomes data from degree-granting institutions on 4 degree/certificate-seeking student cohorts (full-time, first-time; part-time, first-time; full-time, non-first-time entering; and part-time, non-first-time entering students). For each of the 4 cohorts, the component collects a status update 8 years after the cohort enters the institution using the following categories:
  • Received award
  • Did not receive award, still enrolled at reporting institution
  • Did not receive award, subsequently enrolled at another institution
  • Did not receive award, subsequent enrollment status unknown
A total of students who did not receive an award will be calculated.
Admissions (ADM) Annual The admissions component collects basic information on the selection process including:
  • Requirements for admission
  • Admissions yields
  • Test scores (for institutions where test scores are required)

Spring Collection

Component Cycle Data
Fall Enrollment (EF) Annual Fall enrollment data are collected for all students enrolled in credit-bearing courses/programs which could potentially lead to awards ranging from postsecondary certificates of less than 1 year to doctoral degrees. Data collected include:
  • The number of full and part-time students enrolled in the fall by level, race/ethnicity, and gender;
  • Residence and high school graduation status of first time, first-year students (in even years);
  • Age of students (in odd years)
  • Cohort numbers to compute retention rates.
  • Student-to-faculty ratio
In even-numbered years, four-year institutions are also required to provide enrollment data by level, race/ethnicity, and gender for 9 selected fields of study for the Office for Civil Rights.
Finance (F) Annual This component collects data related to the financial condition of the institution. Data collected include:
  • Revenues by source (e.g., tuition and fees, government grants and contracts, private gifts);
  • Expenses by function (e.g., instruction, research, academic support, institutional support);
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Scholarships and fellowships
Different formats are used based on the institution’s accounting standards (GASB or FASB).
Human Resources (HR) Annual
  • Employees by primary occupational activity, faculty status, full and part time (collected separately for medical schools)
  • Full-time instructional staff by academic rank, gender, and contract length/teaching period
  • Total salary outlay and number of months covered, by academic rank and gender
Biennial (odd-numbered years)
  • Full-time and part-time employees by primary occupational activity, race/ethnicity and gender
  • New hires by primary occupational activity, race/ethnicity and gender
Academic Libraries (AL) Annual The Academic Libraries component collects basic information on library collections, expenditures, and services for degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Data collected include:
  • Counts of books, media, and database collection held in the physical and digital/electronic form; and
  • Library expenditures on salaries/wages, materials/services, and operations/maintenance.
Institutions with annual library expenditures less than $100,000 are only required to report collections information.