Background

 

Most of the proposed changes were suggested by the IPEDS Technical Review Panel (TRP). Meetings of the IPEDS TRP are convened by RTI International, the contractor for the IPEDS web-based data collection system; subject areas for the meetings are determined by legislation, emerging areas of concern in postsecondary education, and an ongoing goal of decreasing reporting burden while retaining the federal data necessary for use by policy makers and education analysts. Detailed summaries of each meeting are posted (https://edsurveys.rti.org/IPEDS_TRP/Default.aspx) and comments on panel suggestions are solicited by RTI. Five meetings of the TRP resulted in changes to IPEDS for 2014-15 and 2015-16, as summarized in the table below.

 

TRP Meetings Relevant to Changes to IPEDS for 2014-15 and 2015-16

Topic (Date)

Summary

Survey Components Affected

Academic Libraries

(August 2011)

Based on a review of the current Academic Libraries Survey, which is not part of IPEDS, the Technical Review Panel suggested that a number of data elements be integrated into IPEDS in order to retain federal data necessary for policy making and analysis, while also improving response rates and reducing reporting burden for institutions.

·  Institutional Characteristics

·  New IPEDS component on Academic Libraries to replace the existing Academic Libraries Survey

Data on Veterans (November 2011)

Since the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Program (Post-9/11 GI Bill) went into effect in August 2009, there has been dramatic growth in both the number of beneficiaries and benefits payments under the program to support study at postsecondary institutions. The increase in beneficiaries and federal dollars expended has led to demand for more information for (1) researchers to study the impact of these programs on college participation and success; (2) institutional researchers and other data users to conduct peer comparison in serving these students; (3) veterans and military service members looking to use their educational benefits; and (4) policymakers to assess the effectiveness of benefits programs and return on investment.

The Technical Review Panel suggested collecting information on veterans and military service members and the use of education benefits in order to capture data necessary for policymaking and analysis, while also improving information available to veterans and military service members considering postsecondary education.

·  Institutional Characteristics

·  Student Financial Aid

 

Selected Outcomes of the Advisory Committee on Measures of Student Success

(February and October 2012)

The Committee on Measures of Student Success recommended that the Department of Education broaden the coverage of student graduation data to reflect the diverse student populations at 2-year institutions and improve the collection of student progression and completion data. In response, the Department released an action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success in support of the Administration’s college completion agenda and based on those recommendations.

 

Two IPEDS Technical Review Panel meetings were convened to address these needs. The first panel suggested that the definition of a degree/certificate-seeking student for IPEDS reporting purposes be clarifies, and that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for first-time, part-time students. The second panel suggested that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for non-first-time students similar to information that was proposed by the first panel for first-time, part-time students. The panel also suggested that similar outcome information be collected for first-time, full-time students.

·  New Component on Outcome Measures

Finance for For-Profit Institutions

(August 2012)

The for-profit sector has experienced dramatic growth in both the number of institutions and enrollments since 2000. At the same time, demand for transparency around college costs and spending at all types of postsecondary institutions has increased. Policymakers and other stakeholders have expressed interest in topics like the distribution of instructional expenses by expense type and the percentage of total revenue from federal grants. However, the FASB forms for for-profit institutions collect considerably less detail than the FASB forms for nonprofit institutions and GASB forms, so there are limitations to accurately comparing these data statewide or aggregating them at the national level.

 

Based on a review of the current Finance component, the Technical Review Panel suggested that a number of changes be made to the FASB forms for for-profit institutions to increase data comparability across institutional sectors and utility to institutions and decision makers, while also ensuring data being reported are appropriate for the sector and accurately represent the institutions.

·  Finance

 

Changes to IPEDS Data Collection Calendar (November 2007)

When the IPEDS web-based data collection system was implemented in 2000, a three-collection design was chosen. It was a good transition strategy from a paper-based system to a web-based system, and simplified development of the new technology. Based on the information available at the time, it aligned the collection of data from institutions to the times when the information was available. It simplified the scheduling of IPEDS tasks at institutions and state offices. But the web-based environment makes it possible to be far more flexible than the three-collection format will allow, so the TRP was convened to explore the possibilities.

 

The panel suggested numerous modifications to the IPEDS Data Collection Calendar, many of which have been phased in since the panel met.

·  Institutional Characteristics

 

Detailed descriptions of all proposed changes are included in the following section, by survey component.

A Note about the Timing and Implementation of the Changes
NCES will once again offer institutions a "preview" year for additions to IPEDS data reporting forms. During the preview year, new items and associated reporting instructions will be available for preview through the Survey Materials web page, to give institutions one-year advance notice of how new data items will be collected in the future. The preview year for items packageto be implemented in 2014-15 will be 2013-14; the preview year for items to be implemented in 2015-16 will be 2014-15.


2014-15 Detailed Changes to Forms by IPEDS Survey Component

 

Institutional Characteristics (IC) – Fall Collection

 

The first two changes below will provide important information about veterans and academic libraries; these were proposed by the IPEDS TRP. The TRP suggested that an item concerning services available to veterans be placed on IC. The TRP also suggested that the Academic Libraries Survey be re-integrated into IPEDS and a screening question to determine institutional level of reporting for a new Academic Libraries component be placed on IC.

 

The estimated enrollment items on IC were added in 2006-07 to fill a perceived need for an early estimate of fall enrollment, due to the fact that the IPEDS Fall Enrollment component is not collected until the following Spring. However, NCES has determined that these data are not of particularly good quality. Their inclusion in the IPEDS Data Center is a source of confusion to many (if not most) data users, and there is evidence that they are not being widely used. Further, these data are not displayed on College Navigator because they are estimates.

 

The last proposed change listed relates to moving the collection of admissions data to a small, separate component in the Winter. This change was proposed by the IPEDS TRP; moving the due date will enable all institutions to report data for the most recent Fall period. This, in turn, will make the IPEDS admissions data in the Data Center less confusing for data users, since only one reporting period will be represented in each data file. It will also mean that admissions data will be able to be used in the Trend Generator, which many data users have requested.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions and public comments, NCES requested and received clearance on the following two new items on the Institutional Characteristics component, the deletion of estimated enrollment items, and the creation of a new Admissions component in the Winter data collection, comprised entirely of items moved from the Institutional Characteristics component.

 

Changes to the Institutional Characteristics (IC) Form (all versions)

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Add the following item to collect data on veterans:

·   Which of the following are available to veterans, military service members, or their families?

·   Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program

·   Credit for military training

·   Dedicated point of contact for support services for veterans, military service members, and their families

·   Recognized student veteran organization

·   Member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges

·   URL for tuition policies specifically related to veterans and military service members

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Veterans TRP

Minimal

Add screening question for degree-granting institutions to determine level of reporting on new Academic Libraries component:

·   What are your annual total library expenditures?

·   If annual total library expenditures = 0 there is no additional reporting.

·   If annual total library expenditures >0, the institution will submit the new Academic Libraries component, as described in the Academic Libraries section below.

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Academic Libraries TRP

Minimal

Delete Estimated Enrollment Items

·   Early estimates of full-time and part-time undergraduate students, first-time undergraduate students, and graduate students, as of October 15 or the institution’s official fall reporting date.

2014-15

NCES, public comments

Slight decrease

Delete the following items that collect admissions information from IC, and create a separate small component in the Winter collection. Items will be collected only from institutions that do not have an open admission policy. Moving the collection of these items to the Winter collection will enable all institutions to report data for the most recent fall period.

·   Admissions requirements: Select the option (required, recommended, neither required nor recommended, don’t know) that best describes how your institution uses any of the following data in its undergraduate selection process:

·   Secondary school GPA

·   Secondary school rank

·   Secondary school record

·   Completion of college-preparatory program

·   Recommendations

·   Formal demonstration of competencies (e.g., portfolios, certificates of mastery, assessment instruments)

·   Admission test scores

·   SAT/ACT

·   Other test (ABT,Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)

·   TOEFL

·   Provide the number of first-time, degree/certificate-seeking students who applied, who were admitted, and who enrolled (either full- or part-time) at your institution for the most recent fall period. For each category, report men, women, and total as available.

·   Number of applicants

·   Number of admissions

·   Number (of admitted) that enrolled full-time

·   Number (of admitted) that enrolled part-time

·   If test scores are required for admission for first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students, provide the number and percentage of enrolled students submitting SAT and/or ACT scores, and the 25th and 75th percentile scores for each test listed:

·   SAT Critical Reading, Math, Writing

·   ACT composite,English, Math, Writing

2014-15

Calendar TRP

No change in burden. Change in when data are collected.

 

 

 

Student Financial Aid (SFA) – Winter Collection

 

TRP 36, Collecting Data on Veterans, focused on discussing possible ways to utilize existing data and collect new information on veterans and military service members to better address policy and research questions, as well as to provide more detailed information on the number and types of students using education benefits and how these students are being served by institutions. Many of the panel members either directly represented veterans organizations or represented institutions enrolling a large number of veterans and military service members.

 

Additionally, Executive Order 13607 requires the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as part of IPEDS and other data collection systems, to collect information on the amount of funding received pursuant to the Post-9/11 Bill and the Tuition Assistance Program, for posting on the College Navigator website.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions, public comments, and Executive Order 13607, NCES requested and received clearance on the following items on the Student Financial Aid component.

 

Changes to the Student Financial Aid (SFA) Form (all forms)

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Add the following items:

·   Number of undergraduate and graduate students receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and the total dollar amount of tuition and fee benefits awarded to them through the institution

·   Number of undergraduate and graduate students receiving DoD Tuition Assistance and the total dollar amount of DoD Tuition Assistance awarded to them through the institution

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Veterans TRP

Moderate

 

 

 

Admissions (ADM) – Winter Collection

 

As detailed in the Institutional Characteristics section above, NCES proposes moving the collection of admissions data to a small, separate component in the Winter. This change was proposed by the IPEDS TRP so that all institutions will be able to report data for the most recent Fall period. This, in turn, will make the IPEDS admissions data in the Data Center less confusing for data users, since only one reporting period will be represented in each data file. It will also mean that admissions data will be able to be used in the Trend Generator, which many data users have requested. Finally, it will ensure that admissions data displayed on College Navigator will represent the same Fall period.

 

NCES requested and received clearance to establish a separate Admissions component in the Winter collection.

 

New Separate Admissions (ADM) Component

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Create separate small component in the Winter collection from items formerly in IC component. Items will be collected only from institutions that do not have an open admission policy. Moving the collection of these items to the Winter collection will enable all institutions to report data for the most recent fall period.

 

·    Admissions requirements: Select the option (required, recommended, neither required nor recommended, don’t know) that best describes how your institution uses any of the following data in its undergraduate selection process:

·    Secondary school GPA

·    Secondary school rank

·    Secondary school record

·    Completion of college-preparatory program

·    Recommendations

·    Formal demonstration of competencies (e.g., portfolios, certificates of mastery, assessment instruments)

·    Admission test scores

·    SAT/ACT

·    Other test (ABT,Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)

·    TOEFL

·    Provide the number of first-time, degree/certificate-seeking students who applied, who were admitted, and who enrolled (either full- or part-time) at your institution for the most recent fall period. For each category, report men, women, and total as available.

·   Number of applicants

·   Number of admissions

·   Number (of admitted) that enrolled full-time

·   Number (of admitted) that enrolled part-time

·    If test scores are required for admission for first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students, provide the number and percentage of enrolled students submitting SAT and/or ACT scores, and the 25th and 75th percentile scores for each test listed:

·    SAT Critical Reading, Math, Writing

·    ACT composite,English, Math, Writing

2014-15

(no preview year, as items are collected on IC through 2013-14)

Calendar TRP

No change in burden. Change in when data are collected.

 

 

 

Finance (F) – Spring Collection

 

TRP 39, Improving Finance Survey Forms for For-Profit Institutions, centered around how to increase data comparability across institutional sectors and utility to institutions and decision makers, while also ensuring data being reported are appropriate for the sector and accurately represent the institutions. Members of the for-profit sector were well represented on the panel.

The for-profit sector has experienced dramatic growth in both the number of institutions and enrollments since 2000. At the same time, demand for transparency around college costs and spending at all types of postsecondary institutions has increased. Policymakers and other stakeholders have expressed interest in topics like the distribution of instructional expenses by expense type and the percentage of total revenue from federal grants. However, the FASB forms for for-profit institutions collect considerably less detail than the FASB forms for nonprofit institutions and GASB forms, so there are limitations to accurately comparing these data statewide or aggregating them at the national level.

The panel examined the current finance survey forms item by item to consider which items are reported by GASB and nonprofit FASB institutions that could also be reported by the for-profit institutions to increase comparability across the forms. This review of the finance forms also focused on possible additions to the FASB forms for for-profit institutions that could help provide a more complete picture of financial conditions within higher education and address changing policy and research needs.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions and public comments, NCES requested and received clearance on the following items on the Finance component.

 

 

Changes to the For-Profit Finance (F) Form

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Make changes to Revenues information collected

·   Separate federal appropriations, grants, and contracts into two categories:

o Federal appropriations

o Federal grants and contracts

·   Separate state and local government appropriations, grants, and contracts into four categories:

o State appropriations

o State grants and contracts

o Local appropriations

o Local grants and contracts

·   Add private gifts to be reported with private grants and contracts

·   Add the following two revenues categories:

·   Hospital services

·   Independent operations revenue

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Finance TRP

Significant increase

Make changes to Expenses information collected:

·   Separate research and public service into two categories:

o Research

o Public service

·   Separate academic support, student services, and institutional support into three categories:

o Academic support

o Student services

o Institutional support

·   Add the following new functional expense categories:

o Operation and maintenance of plant

o Hospital services

o Independent operations

·   The following categories will be allocated across the functional categories and will also be reported as a total amount following the expense matrix used by public and private nonprofit institutions:

o Salaries and wages

o Employee fringe benefits

o Operations and maintenance

o Interest

o Depreciation

o All other

·   Add a new screening question:

o What is your business structure?

·   Based on the information provided, institutions with the business structure of either C Corporations or LLC will subsequently be asked to report income tax expenses as follows:

·   Total Federal income tax expenditures

·   Total state and local income tax expenditures

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Finance TRP

Significant increase

Make changes to Scholarships and Fellowships information collected:

·   Separate state and local grants (government) into two categories:

·   Grants by state government

·   Grants by local government

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Finance TRP

Significant increase

Make changes to Balance Sheet information collected:

·   Add the following new categories:

·   Long-term investments

·   Property, plant, and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation

·   Intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization

·   Debt related to property, plant, and equipment

·   Additional detail to align with financial statements

·   Land improvements

·   Buildings

·   Equipment—including art and library collections

·   Construction in progress

·   Other plant, property, and equipment

·   Total plant, property, and equipment

·   Accumulated depreciation

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Finance TRP

Significant increase

 

 

 

Academic Libraries (AL) – Spring Collection

 

TRP 35, Reintegrating the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) into IPEDS, considered the feasibility of reintegrating ALS into IPEDS, examined current ALS data elements, and discussed ways of improving data quality by clarifying definitions and better aligning key elements of the library component with data reported in other IPEDS components. Representation on the panel included individuals from academic libraries.

 

The current Academic Libraries Survey is collected from degree-granting postsecondary institutions every other year in even-numbered years; the current burden estimate is 8.1 hours. When implemented in IPEDS, the Academic Libraries component will be comprised of fewer items, collected annually; the TRP estimated that the burden would be 4 hours.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions and public comments, NCES requested and received clearance to implement a new Academic Libraries component in the Spring data collection, to replace the existing ALS.

 

New Academic Libraries Component

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Add items for degree-granting institutions if expenditures > 0:

·   Is the library collection entirely electronic? (Y/N)

·   Collect library collections counts, physical and digital/electronic, as applicable:

o Books

o Databases

o Media

·   Circulation, physical and digital/electronic, as applicable

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Academic Libraries TRP

Moderate

Add items for degree-granting institutions if expenditures are > $100,000:

·   Number of branch and independent libraries—exclude main or central library

·   Total salaries and wages

·   Are staff fringe benefits paid out of the library budget? (Y/N)

·   Fringe benefit expenditures if paid by the library budget

·   One-time purchases of books, serial backfiles and other materials

·   Ongoing commitments to subscriptions

·   Other information resources

·   Preservation services

·   All other operations and maintenance expenditures

·   Total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries

·   Total interlibrary loans and documents received

·   Does your library support virtual reference services?

2014-15

(2013-14 preview year)

Academic Libraries TRP

Moderate

 

All Survey Components

In order to provide better estimates of burden on an ongoing basis, NCES will ask IPEDS keyholders to report voluntarily the time required to complete each survey component as follows: in the 2012-13 data collection, the 2014-15 data collection, and every third year thereafter. NCES estimates a burden of 0.2 hours to track, record and report this time for the following components: Institutional Characteristics and Admissions, Completions, 12-month Enrollment, Graduation Rates, 200% Graduation Rates, Outcome Measures, and Fall Enrollment. NCES estimates it will take 0.4 hours for Student Financial Aid, Finance, Human Resources, and Academic Libraries, because these four components typically involve additional offices at the institution and require keyholders to get time estimates from others at the institution.

 

 

 

2015-16 Detailed Changes to Forms by IPEDS Survey Component

 

Outcome Measures (OM) – Winter Collection 2015-16

 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 established the U.S. Department of Education’s Committee on Measures of Student Success to advise the Secretary of Education in assisting 2-year degree-granting institutions of higher education in meeting the completion or graduation rate disclosure requirements outlined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The Committee completed its work in December 2011.

 

In its final report to the Secretary, the Committee noted that the "current federal graduation rate measure is incomplete and does not adequately convey the wide range of student outcomes at 2-year institutions." In addition, the Committee observed that "data are not collected on other important outcomes achieved by students at 2-year institutions."

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:

·  Broaden the coverage of student graduation data to reflect the diverse student populations at 2-year institutions

·  Improve the collection of student progression and completion data

·  Improve technical guidance to institutions in meeting statutory disclosure requirements

·  Encourage institutions to disclose comparable data on employment outcomes and provide incentives for sharing promising practices on measuring student learning

 

Although its work focused on 2-year institutions, the Committee suggested that its recommendations be considered and implemented for 4-year institutions as well. The Committee’s final report is available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/cmss-committee-report-final.pdf .

 

In April 2012, the Department released an action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success in support of the Administration’s college completion agenda and based on the recommendations of the Committee on Measures of Student Success ( http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/ous/files/2012/03/Action-Plan-for-Improving-Measures-of-Postsecondary-Student-Success-FINAL2.pdf ).

 

The Department’s action plan is designed to improve the quality and availability of student success data at the federal level for consumers, institutions, policymakers, and researchers. This plan also includes activities to help institutions, systems, and states increase their capacity for collecting and disseminating data on student success. Various offices within the Department are responsible for implementing the activities within the plan. In the plan, the Department has committed to "revise, where feasible under its current authority, existing data collection vehicles to include more comprehensive measures of student success for a broader group of students."

 

As part of this activity, the NCES has taken steps to enhance graduation rate and transfer rate reporting in IPEDS. Using existing processes for considering changes to IPEDS, NCES examined the feasibility of broadening measures by collecting outcome information for part-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students and non-first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students in IPEDS.

 

IPEDS TRP 37 was convened in February 2012 to discuss the feasibility of collecting outcome information on first-time, part-time students. The TRP suggested that the definition of a degree/certificate-seeking student for IPEDS reporting purposes be clarified, and that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for first-time, part-time students.

 

IPEDS TRP 40 was convened in October 2012 to discuss the feasibility of collecting outcome information on non-first-time students. The TRP suggested that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for non-first-time students, similar to information that TRP 37 proposed for first-time, part-time students. The TRP also suggested that similar outcome information be collected for first-time, full-time students. Institutions would report outcome information for four cohorts in mutually exclusive categories, as outlined below.

 

The new outcome information that institutions would report to IPEDS is designed to provide consumers, policymakers, and researchers context for and an alternative to the graduation rates calculated for the purposes of the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990.

 

To expedite the availability of data that will be useful to consumers, policymakers, and researchers, TRP 40 suggested that institutions report on student outcomes retrospectively. If a prospective reporting model were used, outcome measures data would not be available until 2023.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions and public comments, NCES requested and received clearance to implement a new Outcome Measures component in the Winter collection.


New Outcome Measures (OM) Component

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Collect outcome measures data from degree-granting institutions on 4 degree/certificate-seeking student cohorts as shown below. Academic reporting institutions will report on Fall cohorts; program and hybrid reporters will report on Full-year cohorts.

·   Full-time, first-time students

·   Part-time, first-time students

·   Full-time, non-first-time entering students

·   Part-time, non-first-time entering students

Note : Data will not be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, or gender.

Note : No outcome data will be collected from non-degree-granting institutions.

 

For each of the 4 cohorts, collect a status update 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.

 

Collect the status update from both 2-year and 4-year institutions at 8 years after the cohort enters the institution, with award information collected for both the 6-year and 8-year timeframes. Outcome Measures data collection will begin in 2015-16. Institutions will report on their 2007 cohorts.

2015-16

(2014-15 preview year)

 

 

Outcome Measures TRPs

 

 

Substantial