The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System   IPEDS Help Desk
(877) 225-2568 or ipedshelp@rti.org
NCES National Center for Education Statistics  
Using the Data Collection System
Submit Data

Saving/Viewing Your Data

Data are saved on a screen-by-screen basis. Be sure to click Save and then Next, or Save and Next, before continuing to the next page. Using the Save button will save your data and keep you on the current page. Using Next will advance you to the next logical page of the survey; you will be prompted to save your data first. NOTE: Using your browser's back arrow to return to a previous page may result in lost data unless you save it first; please use the Previous button instead.

Data entry

Begin the data entry process by selecting Surveys from the menu. The Institution Identification screen is preloaded with data previously submitted by your institution and must be verified before you submit any other data. You may make updates to the Institution Identification screen during all data collections. Complete the screen by updating or providing the requested information and clicking Save. If required information is missing, or if your entry requires confirmation, a message will be displayed requiring action from the user in order to proceed.

To access the survey screens, click on the Enter Data link for the survey you wish to complete. For some surveys you must complete Screening Questions before you can enter data. Screening Questions are designed to customize the survey form for each institution by determining which version and/or which parts must be completed.

As you enter data, you may receive immediate notification of data problems; these errors are generated by screen edits. An error that requires immediate action will occur when the system requires an entry in order to complete a data entry screen, or if the entry is an incorrect type. Invalid data type errors will be indicated by a message on the screen that indicates that data were not saved. Enter the required data in the correct format, and click Save to clear the error and save the data. Some screen errors do not require immediate action. These errors will be indicated by an error icon next to the data item in question. Click on the error icon to see a description of the error. You may resolve this type of error as you enter the data, or you may wait until all data have been entered. 

There is no specific order required for completing the various survey components; however, when completing a particular component, begin with the first screen and proceed in a logical order. The order becomes important, for example, when values from Part A (e.g., First-time undergraduate students in the Fall Enrollment component) are carried forward to Part C (Residence of first-time students).

File Upload/Import

The file upload and data import function can be used to complete various survey components or sections of the surveys as listed in the table below. The required data file formats for uploading data can be found by selecting "Survey Materials" from the Help menu in the Data Collection System. Select the desired survey link to display the Import specifications. You may wish to print the file layout.

Once you have prepared your data file, follow these simple steps:
  1. Select the File Import/Upload option from the Tools menu.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to indicate which survey data you are uploading.
  3. Indicate the file type: Fixed Length, Key Value Pair, or XML (where available).
  4. Click Browse to locate the file you wish to upload from your computer.
  5. Click Submit. If the file is transmitted successfully, the system will display the name, size and content type of the uploaded file; and a copy of your file will be copied to the IPEDS server. The system will display the number of institutions in the upload file, list the institutions that were successfully processed and saved, and identify any institutions that had fatal errors and were not saved. At this time, you can perform edits on the data entered.

  6. FILE IMPORT
    Each component below is treated separately.
    Components not included in the table are not supported for file import.
    Component     Fixed Length/Positional File Import Key Value Pair File Import XML File Import
    Completions Accumulates data for each race/ethnicity and gender combination, by UnitID, CIP code, and award level. Subsequent imports of new files will initialize all records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data that were entered previously.
    IC Student Charges (Part D) Each new file imported initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting any data that were entered previously. Not supported.
    Fall Enrollment and 12-month Enrollment Each new file imported initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data in ALL parts that were entered previously. Accumulates data for each race/ethnicity and gender combination, by UnitID and level of enrollment, or by category, depending on Part. Subsequent imports of new files will initialize records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data that were entered previously.

    Each new file imported initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data in ALL parts that were entered previously.
    Supported for 12-month Enrollment and 4-year and 2-year degree granting Fall Enrollment.

    Graduation Rates Each new file imported initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data that were entered previously. Sections cannot be imported separately. Accumulates data for each race/ethnicity and gender combination, by UnitID and status of student. Subsequent imports of new files will initialize records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data that were entered previously. Each new file imported initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting all data that were entered previously. Sections cannot be imported separately.
    Finance Each import initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting any data that were entered previously. Parts cannot be imported separately. Not supported.
    Student Financial Aid Each import initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting any data that were entered previously.
    Human Resources Each import initializes records to null, by UnitID, deleting any data that were entered previously. Parts cannot be imported separately. Data for all 3 sections (Employees by Assigned Position, Salaries, and Fall Staff) must be contained in the same file. Not supported.



    Perform Edits and Lock Survey

    On-screen edits

    An error message that requires immediate action can occur when the system requires an entry in order to complete a data entry screen. For example, on the Institution Identification screen, telephone number is a required field. An error message will appear describing the error, and the screen cannot be saved until the error is resolved.

    System edits

    Once all of your data for a particular survey are entered, the Surveys screen will show an active Perform Edits link in the Steps to Locking column. Click the link to run the edits for that survey. The Edit Report will be displayed, listing any errors and indicating whether they are fatal (must be corrected) or if they need explanation or confirmation.

    Explanation and confirmation errors can be resolved from the Edit Report screen or from the error icon on the data screen. From the edit report, click on the "Explanation" or "Confirmation" link in the Severity column and review the error information. The pop-up window for these errors can also be viewed alongside the data by clicking Go to error screen from the Edit Report.  In the pop-up window, make corrections, enter explanations, or click confirm as needed. Once all errors are resolved (the Accepted column on the Edit Report will display "Yes" for each message), a Lock option will appear at the bottom of the edit report, and the Lock button will be activated under Steps to Locking on the Surveys page. Fatal errors may have a Back to survey data link in the Options column which will redirect you to the first screen of the survey; this link appears when the edit involves more than one screen.

    NOTE: Changing your data may require you to review other pages within the same survey. For example, in the Finance survey, some data are carried forward to other parts. Changing data may affect multiple parts of the survey and the related edits.

    Resolve Errors/Types of Edits

    Fatal errors occur when required fields are missing, when incorrect values are keyed, or when major inconsistencies exist. These errors can be identified by a red X icon. For example, if you indicate that you enroll full-time graduate students but you do not supply tuition at the graduate level, the system will flag this as a fatal error that needs correction. Fatal errors must be resolved in order to lock a survey and can be viewed from the edit report or by clicking the icon. Data entries must be corrected and saved on the survey screen.  Once all changes have been made, rerun Perform Edits to make sure the correction was successful and to activate the Lock button once all errors have been resolved. If the data you have entered are correct, but a fatal error exists, call the Help Desk at 1-877-225-2568.

    Edit failures that require an explanation (or correction) may occur when the system identifies an abnormal progression of data from one year to the next or from one component to another. For example, if the number of full-time undergraduate students increased more than 30 percent over last year, the system will ask for an explanation for the increase. To enter an explanation, click the yellow "yield sign" icon, type your response in the pop-up window provided, and click the Save button. Then click Refresh & Close to close the pop-up window.

    Entries that are not within a normal range or an expected value may require a confirmation. Entries that require confirmation do not require an explanation; simply click Confirm if the data are correct as reported or click Close to return to the survey to revise your data. An example of this type of edit is the check that the system runs to ensure that very large values have been entered correctly on the screen.

    A warning message will alert you to an action that may change the criteria used by the system to display data entry screens and/or the type of data that are collected. For example, adding a new award level may require that charges for tuition and fees be provided for that corresponding degree type. The system will display a warning message for you to acknowledge your entry prior to adding the new award level.

    Locking Your Data

    When all edits have been resolved, the institution's keyholder is required to Lock each survey individually. To lock the data, click the Lock link in the Steps to Locking column. The system will prompt you for confirmation of your action. Once you have locked your survey data, you will receive an email confirming that the survey is locked and you will no longer be able to update your data. You will still be able to view and print (or download) any survey data that are locked by logging into the system. Should you discover an error in your data, contact the IPEDS Help Desk at 1-877-225-2568. The Help Desk will unlock your survey, allowing you to correct the error (unless a coordinator has subsequently locked your data). Once you have corrected the error you will need to re-lock the survey data.

    Print

    Printing Blank Forms and Other Survey Materials

    You can display and print a blank version of the survey forms prior to entering data on the collection screens. All survey materials (blank forms, instructions, narrative edit specifications, frequently asked questions, and import specifications) are available by choosing "Survey Materials" from the Help menu in the Data Collection System, or from the Data Submission Info tab on the login page.  Click Use My Institution or search by unit id to view the blank forms and other materials applicable to your institution, or click View All to get the complete list of survey materials.  
     
    Printing forms with data

    You can also print the forms after you have entered data. From within the Data Collection System, select Print Form/Get PDF from the Options column on the Surveys screen to print out forms and generate PDF files of your data submission from the current collection and from previous collections in the same survey cycle. Also, any time that you wish to print from the data entry screens, you can use the browser Print button or Print menu item (under File) to print copies of the documents for your use. In addition to printing from the File menu, you can right-click your mouse and select the Print option from the displayed menu.

    Forms with prior year data can also be printed from the Use the Data page.  Choose Look up an Institution to search for your institution, and then click the "Reported Data" link.  

    Other print options

    The items under the Data Collection System Help menu and the error reports can also be printed from the Print option or from your browser, as described above.

    NOTE: Depending on the internet browser you are using, certain forms and other items may not print optimally from our site. If you have trouble printing, you may want to try another type of browser or use the print options available in the system.

    Help

    The Help menu provides access to survey materials, the data collection schedule, frequently asked questions (FAQs), information on data collection procedures, statutory requirements, changes to the data collection, a New Keyholder Handbook, a calendar flyer, Help Desk flyer, and training flyer for posting, a tutorial, the IPEDS glossary, and the complete list of CIP Codes. Selecting one of these options will display the requested information. FAQs are provided to answer questions that have been encountered during previous collections. As the collection cycle progresses, additional questions and answers will be added as needed. The tutorial presents instructions on how to navigate and use the many features of the data collection system. If at any time during the collection you need additional help please contact the IPEDS Help Desk at 1-877-225-2568 or email your questions to ipedshelp@rti.org.

    Log Out

    When you have finished a session and do not wish to continue, be sure to use the Log Out button on the navigation menu before closing your browser. When you log back in you can continue where you left off. Please Save your data before you log out by clicking Save on the data entry screens.


    Questions


    If at any time you have questions concerning this collection or the use of its data, contact the IPEDS Help Desk at 1-877-225-2568 or email them at ipedshelp@rti.org.

 
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