The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System   IPEDS Help Desk
(877) 225-2568 or ipedshelp@rti.org
NCES National Center for Education Statistics
Institutional Characteristics for degree-granting 2-year academic year tuition reporters
Overview 
Institutional Characteristics Overview
 Welcome to the Institutional Characteristics (IC) component. This component collects important information about your institution's mission, student services, and student charges.

Much of the data reported on IC appear on College Navigator, which is updated once after IC data has been finally reviewed. Thus, errors may stay on College Navigator for a full year.
 
 Additionally, the cost of attendance data are used to calculate the net price of attendance in the Student Financial Aid component. This has important implications for what students see about your institution, and also for the College Affordability and Transparency Center's lists. Revisions or changes to costs can ONLY be made in the Student Financial Aid component and not in the prior year revision system.

Remember, it is the responsibility of the keyholder to submit accurate data about the institution. Please contact the IPEDS Help Desk for clarifications to make sure that you are reporting correctly.
 
 Changes to This Year’s IC Component
There were no changes implemented for the 2015-16 data collection period.
 
   
 Common Errors
Quality control reviews of past IC data indicate frequently made errors. Please review the common errors below to ensure accurate reporting. Additional common errors or tips can be found in the New Keyholder Handbook under Resources.
 
 
  • Question 2 should only be marked 'YES' if your institution is EXCLUSIVELY distance education. Do not mark 'YES' if your courses/programs are also available in person.
  • Do not try to outsmart fatal errors; this is falsifying data. Contact the Help Desk to override, or fix, the data.
  • Make sure you understand ALL definitions before responding to questions. For example, make sure that you are reporting for an 'ACADEMIC YEAR' or 'PROGRAM' as defined by IPEDS.
 
   
 To download the survey materials for this component: Survey Materials 
 To access your prior year data submission for this component: Reported Data 
 
 
Part A - Mission Statement and Distance Education 
1. Provide the institution's mission statement or a web address (URL) where the mission statement can be found. Typed statements are limited to 2,000 characters or less. The mission statement will be available to the public on College Navigator.
 
Mission Statement URL:   
Please begin URL with "http://" or "https://"
Mission Statement
  
2. Are all the programs at your institution offered exclusively via distance education?
   No                                                                                
     Yes
 
Part B - Services and Programs for Servicemembers and Veterans 
1. Which of the following are available to veterans, military servicemembers, or their families?
     Yellow Ribbon Program (officially known as Post-9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program)                    
   Credit for military training
   Dedicated point of contact for support services for veterans, military servicemembers, and their families
   Recognized student veteran organization
   Member of Department of Defense Voluntary Educational Partnership Memorandum of Understanding
   None of the above
These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator. You may use the space below to provide context for the data you've reported above. These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator website, and should be written to be understood by students and parents.
 
 
Part C - Student Services - Special Learning Opportunities 
1. Does your institution accept any of the following? [Check all that apply]
 
     Dual credit (college credit earned while in high school)                    
   Credit for life experiences
   Advanced placement (AP) credits
   None of the above
 
2. What types of special learning opportunities are offered by your institution? [Check all that apply]
    
   ROTC
    Army                 Navy                 Air Force               
   Study abroad
   Weekend/evening college
   Teacher certification (for the elementary, middle school/junior high, or secondary level)

Do not include certifications to teach at the postsecondary level.
    Students can complete their preparation in certain areas of specialization
    Students must complete their preparation at another institution for certain areas of specialization
    This institution is approved by the state for the initial certification or licensure of teachers
   None of the above
 
Part C - Student Services - Distance Opportunities 
4. Which of the following selected student services are offered by your institution? [Check all that apply]
    
   Remedial services
   Academic/career counseling services
   Employment services for current students
   Placement services for program completers
   On-campus day care for children of students
   None of the above
  
5. Does your institution have its own library or are you financially supporting a shared library with another postsecondary education institution?
  
   Have our own library
   Do not have our own library but contribute financial support to a shared library
   Neither of the above
6. Indicate whether or not any of the following alternative tuition plans are offered by your institution.
 
  No
  Yes
  Tuition guarantee
  Prepaid tuition plan
  Tuition payment plan
  Other (specify in box below)
7. Please indicate at what level(s) your institution offers distance education opportunities (courses and/or programs).
    
   Undergraduate
   Graduate
   The institution does not offer distance education opportunities
These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator. You may use the space below to provide context for the alternative tuition plans you've reported above. These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator website, and should be written to be understood by students and parents.
 
 
Part C - Disability Service 
Please indicate the percentage of all undergraduate students enrolled during fall 2014 who were formally registered as students with disabilities with the institution's office of disability services (or the equivalent office).
     3 percent or less 
     More than 3 percent: %
These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator. You may use the space below to provide context for the data you've reported above. These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator website, and should be written to be understood by students and parents.
 
 
Part D - Student Charges Questions 
1. Are all full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students required to live on campus or in institutionally-controlled housing?
If you answer Yes to this question, you will not be asked to report off-campus room and board in the price of attendance (D11).

This is only a screening question, and your response does not show up on College Navigator.

If you make any exceptions to this rule, and have even one full-time, first-time student living off-campus, please answer No so that this does not cause conflicts with the Student Financial Aid survey. Making changes to the SFA component is very difficult and may lead to inaccurate reporting for your institution.
   No
   Yes, and we do not make ANY (even one) exceptions to this rule
2. Does your institution charge different tuition for in-district, in-state, or out-of-state students?
If you answer Yes to this question, you will be expected to report tuition amounts for in-district, in-state, and out-of-state students.

Please only select Yes if you really charge different tuition rates, or you will be reporting the same numbers 3 times.
   No
   Yes
3. Does your institution offer institutionally-controlled housing (either on or off campus)?
If you answer Yes to this question, you will be expected to specify a housing capacity, and to report a room charge or a combined room and board charge (D10).
   No
   Yes
 Specify housing capacity for academic year 2015-16
  
4. Do you offer board or meal plans to your students?
If you answer Yes to this question, you will be expected to report a board charge or combined room and board charge (D10).
   No
   Yes - Enter the number of meals per week in the maximum meal plan available
  
   Yes - Number of meals per week can vary (e.g., students' charge meals against a meal card)
 
Part D - Undergraduate Student Charges 
If the institution charges an application fee, indicate the amount.
   AmountPrior year
 Application fee   
 
5. Charges to full-time students for the full academic year 2015-16
Please be sure to report an average tuition that includes all students at all levels (freshman, sophomore, etc.).
 
 In-districtPrior yearIn-statePrior yearOut-of-statePrior year
All full-time students
Average tuition         
Required fees         
6. Per credit hour charge for part-time students
Please be sure to report an average per credit tuition that includes all students at all levels (freshman, sophomore, etc.).
 
 In-districtPrior yearIn-statePrior yearOut-of-statePrior year
Per credit hour charge         
 
Part D - Student Charges - Room and Board  
10. What are the typical room and board charges for a student for the full academic year 2015-16?
If your institution offers room or board at no charge to students, enter zero.
If you report room and board separately, leave the combined charge blank. If you report a combined charge, leave the room and board charges blank.
Room and board chargesAmountPrior year
Room charge (Double occupancy)   
Board charge (Maximum plan)   
Combined room and board charge
(Answer only if you CANNOT separate room and board charges.)
   
 
Part D - Student Charges - Price of Attendance 
11. Cost of attendance for full-time, first-time students:
Please enter the amounts requested below. These data will be made available to the public on College Navigator. If your institution participates in any Title IV programs (Pell, Stafford, etc.), you must complete all information. Estimates of expenses for books and supplies, room and board, and other expenses are those from the Cost of Attendance report used by the financial aid office in determining financial need. Please talk to your financial aid office to get these numbers, to ensure that you are reporting correctly.
 
If the 2015-16 tuition and/or fees as reported on this page for full-time, first-time students are covered by a tuition guarantee program, check the applicable box(es) under 'Tuition Guarantee'. Additionally, please indicate the maximum % increase that is guaranteed. These numbers are expected to be fairly small. Please contact the Help Desk if you are confused about these values and how to report them.
These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator. You may use the space below to provide context for the data you've reported above. These context notes will be posted on the College Navigator website, and should be written to be understood by students and parents.
 
 
Part E - Athletic Association 
1. Is this institution a member of a national athletic association?
  No
  Yes - Check all that apply
   National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
   National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
   National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
   United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA)
   National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA)                              
   Other
 
2. If this institution is a member of the NCAA or NAIA, specify the conference FOR EACH SPORT using the pull down menu.
 
SportNCAA or NAIA memberConference
Football  No  Yes-Specify 
Basketball  No  Yes-Specify 
Baseball  No  Yes-Specify 
Cross country and/or track  No  Yes-Specify 
 
 
 
No Instruction has been specified.
 
 
Glossary date: 5/3/2016
Term Definition
Academic year The period of time generally extending from September to June; usually equated to 2 semesters or trimesters, 3 quarters, or the period covered by a 4-1-4 calendar system.
Application fee That amount of money that an institution charges for processing a student's application for admittance to the institution. This amount is not creditable toward tuition or required fees, nor is it refundable if the student is not admitted to the institution.
Board charges Charges assessed students for an academic year for meals.
Board plan The method for providing meals to students during an academic year. Plans may include a specific charge for a specified number of meals per week or a specified amount against which students may charge their meals.
Books and supplies The average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for an entire academic year (or program). Does not include unusual costs for special groups of students (e.g., engineering or art majors), unless they constitute the majority of students at an institution.
CIP code A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) A taxonomic coding scheme for secondary and postsecondary instructional programs. It is intended to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of program data using classifications that capture the majority of reportable data. The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.
Clock hour A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as contact hour.
Comprehensive fee A single fixed amount of money charged by an institution that covers tuition, required fees, room, and board. For some institutions, this amount may also cover books and supplies.
Contact hour A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as clock hour.
Counseling service Activities designed to assist students in making plans and decisions related to their education, career, or personal development.
Credit for life experiences Credit earned by students for what they have learned through independent study, noncredit adult courses, work experience, portfolio demonstration, previous licensure or certification, or completion of other learning opportunities (military, government, or professional). Credit may also be awarded through a credit by examination program.
Credit for Military Training Postsecondary credit granted by institutions to military servicemen or veterans for experiences and training gained while in the service.
Credit hour A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Day care service A student service designed to provide appropriate care and protection of infants, preschool, and school-age children so their parents can participate in postsecondary education programs .
Degree/certificate-seeking students Students enrolled in courses for credit who are seeking a degree, certificate, or other formal award. This includes students who:
   - received any type of federal financial aid, regardless of what courses they took at any time;
   - received any state or locally based financial aid with an eligibility requirement that the student be enrolled in a degree, certificate, or transfer-seeking program; or
   - obtained a student visa to study at a U.S. postsecondary institution

High school students also enrolled in postsecondary courses for credit are not considered degree/certificate-seeking.
Department of Defense Voluntary Education Program Memorandum of Understanding A voluntary program that functions to expand and improve postsecondary opportunities for servicemembers worldwide. It is funded by the Department of Defense through a contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
Disability services Programs designed to provide reasonable academic accommodations and support services to empower students who have disabilities to competitively pursue postsecondary education. May also include assistance to campus departments in providing access to services and programs in the most integrated setting possible.
Distance education

Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.

Doctor's degree-professional practice A doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice. The degree is awarded after a period of study such that the total time to the degree, including both pre-professional and professional preparation, equals at least six full-time equivalent academic years. Some of these degrees were formerly classified as first-professional and may include: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.); Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.); Law (J.D.); Medicine (M.D.); Optometry (O.D.); Osteopathic Medicine (D.O); Pharmacy (Pharm.D.); Podiatry (D.P.M., Pod.D., D.P.); or, Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), and others, as designated by the awarding institution.
Dual credit A program through which high school students are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, taught at their high school, that fulfill high school graduation requirements and may earn the student college credits .
Employment services for current students Activities intended to assist students in obtaining part-time employment as a means of defraying part of the cost of their education.
First-time student (undergraduate) A student who has no prior postsecondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This includes students enrolled in academic or occupational programs. It also includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term, and students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school).
Full-time student Undergraduate: A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits, or 9 or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full-time by the institution. Doctor's degree - Professional practice - as defined by the institution.
Governing board An entity that ensures on behalf of the public the performance of an institution or a group of institutions. Responsibilities of the board may include appointing, supporting, and monitoring the president of the institution; reviewing educational and public service programs; insisting on strategic planning; and, ensuring good management and adequate resources.
Graduate student A student who holds a bachelor's degree or above and is taking courses at the postbaccalaureate level. These students may or may not be enrolled in graduate programs.
Housing capacity The maximum number of students for which an institution can provide residential facilities, whether on or off campus.
In-district student A student who is a legal resident of the locality in which he/she attends school and thus is entitled to reduced tuition charges if offered by the institution.
In-district tuition The tuition charged by the institution to those students residing in the locality in which they attend school. This may be a lower rate than in-state tuition if offered by the institution.
In-state student A student who is a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school.
In-state tuition The tuition charged by institutions to those students who meet the state's or institution's residency requirements.
Institutionally controlled housing Any residence hall or housing facility located on- or off-campus that is owned or controlled by an institution and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), conducted by the NCES, began in 1986 and involves annual institution-level data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (throughout IPEDS referred to as "Title IV") are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS currently consists of the following components: Institutional Characteristics (IC); 12-month Enrollment (E12);Completions (C); Admissions (ADM); Student Financial Aid (SFA); Human Resources (HR) composed of Employees by Assigned Position, Fall Staff, and Salaries; Fall Enrollment (EF); Graduation Rates (GR); Outcome Measures (OM); Finance (F); and Academic Libraries (AL).
Library An organized collection of printed, microform, and audiovisual materials which (a) is administered as one or more units, (b) is located in one or more designated places, and (c) makes printed, microform, and audiovisual materials as well as necessary equipment and services of a staff accessible to students and to faculty. Includes units meeting the above definition which are part of a learning resource center.
Net price The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 defines institutional net price as "the average yearly price actually charged to first-time, full-time undergraduate students receiving student aid at an institution of higher education after deducting such aid." In IPEDS, average institutional net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or 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 for room and board and other expenses. Cost of attendance data are collected in the Institutional Characteristics (IC) component of IPEDS, and financial aid data are collected in the Student Financial Aid (SFA) component of IPEDS.
Off-campus (not with family) A living arrangement in which a student does not live with the student's parents or legal guardians in any housing facility that is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Off-campus (with family) A living arrangement in which a student lives with the student's parents or legal guardians in any housing facility that is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Off-campus housing Any housing facility that is occupied by students but is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
On-campus housing Any residence hall or housing facility owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes.
Other expenses The amount of money (estimated by the financial aid office) needed by a student to cover expenses such as laundry, transportation, and entertainment.
Out-of-state student A student who is not a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school.
Out-of-state tuition The tuition charged by institutions to those students who do not meet the institution's or state's residency requirements.
Part-time student Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term. Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits.
Placement services for program completers Assistance for students in evaluating their career alternatives and in obtaining full-time employment upon leaving the institution.
Post 9/11 GI Bill A federal education benefit program for veterans, who served on active duty after September 10, 2001. This Department of Veteran Affairs benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits at an approved institution for the following college costs: tuition and fees, books and supplies and housing. The tuition and fees payment, which is the cost for an in-state student attending a public institution, is made directly to the postsecondary institution whereas payments for books and supplies and housing are sent directly to the student.
Postsecondary education institution An institution which has as its sole purpose or one of its primary missions, the provision of postsecondary education.
Prepaid tuition plan A program that allows students or their families to purchase college tuition or tuition credits for future years, at current prices.
Program A combination of courses and related activities organized for the attainment of broad educational objectives as described by the institution.
Remedial services Instructional activities designed for students deficient in the general competencies necessary for a regular postsecondary curriculum and educational setting.
Required fees Fixed sum charged to students for items not covered by tuition and required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charge is an exception.
Room charges The charges for an academic year for rooming accommodations for a typical student sharing a room with one other student.
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges A membership group of over 1,700 institutions that functions to expand and improve voluntary postsecondary opportunities for servicemembers worldwide. It is funded by the Department of Defense through a contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
Shared library A facility housing an organized collection of printed, microform, and audiovisual materials, and (a) is jointly administered by more than one educational institution, or (b) whose funds or operating expenditures have been received from more than one educational institution. The location of the facility is not a determining factor.
Study abroad Arrangement by which a student completes part of the college program studying in another country. Can be at a campus abroad or through a cooperative agreement with some other U.S. college or an institution of another country.
System An organization of two or more institutions of higher education under the control or supervision of a common administrative governing body. Governing bodies generally have the power to act in their own name, to hire and fire personnel, enter into contracts, etc. A coordinating body without these powers or a section of a state agency usually would not be considered a system office.
Teacher certification program A program designed to prepare students to meet the requirements for certification as teachers in elementary, middle/junior high, and secondary schools.
Title IV institution An institution that has a written agreement with the Secretary of Education that allows the institution to participate in any of the Title IV federal student financial assistance programs (other than the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) programs).
Tuition The amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged per term, per course, or per credit.
Tuition and fees (published charges) The amount of tuition and required fees covering a full academic year most frequently charged to students. These values represent what a typical student would be charged and may not be the same for all students at an institution. If tuition is charged on a per-credit-hour basis, the average full-time credit hour load for an entire academic year is used to estimate average tuition. Required fees include all fixed sum charges that are required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charges is an exception.
Tuition guarantee A program where the institution guarantees, to entering first-time students, that tuition will not increase for the years they are enrolled. These guarantees are generally time-bound for four or five years.
Tuition payment plan A program that allows tuition to be paid in installments spread out over an agreed upon period of time, sometimes without interest or finance charges.
Undergraduate A student enrolled in a 4- or 5-year bachelor's degree program, an associate's degree program, or a vocational or technical program below the baccalaureate.
Weekend/evening college A program that allows students to take a complete course of study and attend classes only on weekends or only in the evenings.
Yellow Ribbon Program A voluntary program through which participating public and private institutions can provide veterans and eligible beneficiaries additional institutional aid to cover the costs of tuition and fees at their institutions. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a supplementary program to the Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage of in-state tuition and fees. The Department of Veterans Affairs matches the institutional aid provided beyond the in-state tuition and fees, but to certain limit each year.

 
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