Purpose of Component
The purpose of the IPEDS Finance component is to collect basic financial information from items associated with the institution's General Purpose Financial Statements (GPFS). Item areas include:
- Scholarships and Fellowships / Student Grant Aid
- Revenues and Investment Return
- Expenses by Functional and Natural Classification
Changes in Reporting
There are no reporting changes for the 2012-13 finance data collection for for-profit institutions.
Reporting Period Covered
The starting point for reporting should be amounts reported in the GPFS for the most recent fiscal year ending before October 1, 2012
. For institutions with fiscal years ending on December 31, this would be the calendar year 2011.
About the Data
Data providers for this component should be familiar with college and university accounting policies and practices as described by the National Association of College and Universities' Business Officers (NACUBO). To provide additional help, accounting terms are underlined and colored blue. These terms are linked to definitions found in the on-line glossary.
Four different types of data appear in this component. There are data:
- Institutions provide from their GPFS and/or underlying records.
- That are prior year data, shown in red, which can be used as a comparison with the current year's data being reported.
- That are carried forward from one part of the component to another part to insure that the data are internally consistent.
- Calculated from the other data elements.
In the latter two cases, the data provider is requested to check that the carried forward data and the calculated data are consistent with the data found in the institution's GPFS. If the data carried forward or calculated are not consistent with the institution's GPFS, then an error in data entry may have occurred.
Context boxes are provided to allow institutions to provide more information regarding survey component items. Note that some context boxes are posted on the College Navigator Website, which is the college search tool offered by NCES. NCES will review entries in these context boxes for applicability and appropriateness before posting them on the College Navigator Website; institutions should check grammar and spelling of their entries.
What to Include
The reporting entity's financial accounting policies and procedures should be the beginning basis for reporting to this IPEDS survey component. However, deviations from the GPFS may be required to respond to this IPEDS survey component. Some of these deviations include:
- If financial categories in the institution’s GPFS are more aggregated than required for this IPEDS survey component, then use underlying institutional records to determine the necessary amounts.
- If financial categories in the institution’s GPFS are more detailed than required, then combine the GPFS amounts and report only the combined number for this IPEDS survey component.
- If amounts are reported in categories in the GPFS that differ from those required for the IPEDS survey, move those amounts to the IPEDS-requested categories.
- Report all financial in WHOLE DOLLARS only, omitting cents.
- For any item on the survey component where exact data do not exist in the GPFS, please give estimates.
What NOT to Include
Do not report any projected amounts for future years. Do not make adjustments for prior-year corrections unless they are included as such corrections in the GPFS.
Where to Get Help
IPEDS Data Collection Help Desk
You can also consult the AIR website that contains several tutorials on IPEDS data collection, a self-paced overview of IPEDS tools and other valuable resources.
IPEDS Resources Page
In addition, the IPEDS Resources Page contains frequently asked questions, a link to the glossary, data tip sheets, an archive of survey instruments, information on the new race/ethnicity categories and other relevant information.
Where to Get Additional Get Help for Reporting Finance on this Component
There may be places on and off your campus to get assistance in reporting.
Assistance on campus
Although institutions may be organized in different ways and use different titles for offices, an office on your campus that might help you to report data on this survey component might be called:
Assistance off campus
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer
- Office of Administration and Finance
- Office of Finance
- Office of Budget
- Office of Financial Services
- Office of the Comptroller (or Controller)
- Office of Accounting
Additional references may be found in the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ (NACUBO) Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual (FARM) which is available online. Additional information may be found at the NACUBO website (www.nacubo.org
). Someone at your institutions in one or more of the offices listed above may already have access to the FARM.
Where the Data Will Appear
Data collected through IPEDS will be accessible at the institution- and aggregate-levels.
At the institution-level, data will appear in the:
At the aggregate-level, data will appear in:
This section provides line-by-line instructions for each Part of the Finance Component.
In the instructions, numbers found in parentheses at the end of each line provide additional reference to paragraphs in the National Association of College and Universities' Business Officers' (NACUBO) Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual (FARM). There are also some references to the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS).
General Information – Fiscal Year and Audit
Fiscal Year: Enter the beginning and ending dates of the period covered for the reported financial data. If the period is not a full 12-month year, explain in the context box below why a 12-month period was not included.
Audit Opinion: Check the appropriate box to indicate if the GPFS received an unqualified opinion from your auditors. If “qualified” is checked, please note in the context box the nature of the qualification. If the statements have not been audited, please check “Don’t know” and note in the context box that the GPFS are unaudited.
Pell Grants: Indicate whether the institution accounts for Pell grants as pass-through payments or as federal revenue. If the institution does not award Pell grants, select the applicable option.
Institutions that do receive Pell grants have the option to report Pell grants either as:
- federal revenue and allowance to tuition and fees and/or auxiliary enterprises (for room and board, books, meals, etc.). If the Pell grant is counted as federal revenue, then there should be an offsetting discount/allowance to tuition and fees revenue and/or auxiliary enterprise revenue so that the Pell grants are not being double counted in the institution's revenues.
- as a pass-through transaction. A pass-through transaction is essentially a payment on the student's account where the institution is purely processing the Pell Grant and those monies are not counted by the institution until they come in as a tuition payment from the student. The latter option is sometimes referred to as an agency transaction. With this option Pell grants are not counted as federal revenues and are not considered to be a discount/allowance to tuition and fees or auxiliary enterprises.
Please note that regardless of how Pell grants are treated for revenues or expenses, they should still be reported in Part C: Scholarships and Fellowships under Pell grants.
Part C - Student Grants
This part is intended to report details about student grants.
For each source on lines 01–04, enter the amount of resources received that are used for student financial aid purposes. Student grants include: grants-in-aid, trainee stipends, tuition and fee waivers, and prizes to undergraduate students. Student grants do not include amounts provided to students as payments for teaching or research or as fringe benefits.
For lines 06 and 07, identify amounts that are reported in the GPFS as allowances only. "Allowance" means the institution displays the financial aid amount as a deduction from tuition and fees or a deduction from auxiliary enterprise revenues in its GPFS.
The allowance category is intended to be consistent with the definitions provided in the NACUBO Advisory Report Accounting and Reporting Scholarship Allowances to Tuition and Other Fee Revenues by Higher Education (AR 97-1, January 17, 1997), which is available at the NACUBO website (www.nacubo.org
). AR 97-1 states:
"A scholarship allowance is the difference between the stated charge for goods and services provided by the institution and the amount which is billed to students and/or third parties making payments on behalf of students. In considering what is or is not revenue, the following rule applies: amounts received to satisfy student tuition and fees will be reported as revenue only once (e.g. student fees, gifts, investment income) and only amounts received from students and third-party payers to satisfy tuition and fees will be recognized as tuition and fee revenue."
Refer to these specific instructions for more information about reporting student grants. 01 – Pell grants (federal)
– Enter the amount awarded to the institution under the Pell Grant program. 02 – Other federal grants
– Enter the amount awarded to the institution under federal student aid programs other than Pell, such as Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), DHHS training grants (aid portion only), DOD grants, Department of Veterans Affairs grants, and the federal portion of State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG). Report institutional matching funds separately under institutional grants. Do not include Federal Work Study amounts. 03 – State and local grants (government)
– Enter the amount awarded to the institution under state and local student aid programs, including the state portion of State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG). 04 – Institutional grants
– Enter the amount awarded to students from institutional resources. 05 – Total student grants
– This calculated value is the sum of lines 01 through 04. Because this is a calculated value data providers are advised to check this amount with the corresponding amount on their GPFS or underlying records. If these amounts differ materially, the data provider is advised to check the other amounts provided on this screen for data entry errors. 06 – Allowances applied to tuition and fees
– Enter the amount of allowances (scholarships) applied to tuition and fees. The amount on this line, when added to the amount in Part D, line 01 equals gross tuition and fees. (FARM para. 460) 07 – Allowances applied to auxiliary enterprise revenues
– Enter the amount of allowances (scholarships) applied to auxiliary enterprise revenues (e.g., dormitory charges). The amount on this line, when added to the amount in Part D, line 07 equals gross auxiliary enterprise revenue. (FARM para. 460)
Part D – Revenues and Investment Return PLEASE COMPLETE PART C BEFORE PROVIDING DATA FOR PART D.
This part is intended to report revenues by source.
The revenues and investment return reported in this part should agree with the revenues reported in the institution’s GPFS.
All revenue source categories are intended to be consistent with the definitions provided for private institutions according to the NACUBO Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual (FARM).
Exclude from revenues (and expenses) internal charges and credits. Internal charges and credits include charges between a parent and a subsidiary only if the two are consolidated in the amounts reported in the IPEDS survey.
Refer to these specific instructions for more information about reporting revenues and investment return.
01 – Tuition and fees (net of amount reported in Part C, line 06) – Enter the amount of tuition and educational fees, net of any allowances applied in the GPFS. Include in this amount all fees for continuing education programs, conferences, and seminars.
Government Appropriations, Grants and Contracts
02 – Federal appropriations, grants and contracts – Enter all amounts received from the Federal Government including a direct appropriation of Congress, and any grants or contracts. Federal appropriations received through state channels should be included on line 02. Include all revenues from federal agencies that are for specific undertakings such as research projects, training projects, and similar activities, including contributions from federal agencies. If federal Pell and similar student aid grants are treated as agency transactions in your GPFS, they are excluded from this amount. If federal Pell and similar student aid grants are treated as student aid expenses or as allowances when awarded, include the grant revenue on this line and in Part C.
03 – State and local government appropriations, grants and contracts – Enter all amounts received from a state or local government through a direct appropriation of its legislative body, and any grants or contracts. An example of a state or local appropriation that should be entered on line 03 is an annual state or local appropriation for operating expenses of the institution.
Include all revenues from state and local government agencies that are for specific undertakings such as research projects, training projects, and similar activities, including contributions from state and local agencies. If state and local grants for student aid are treated as agency transactions in your GPFS, they are excluded from this amount. If state and local grants for student aid are treated in your GPFS as student aid expenses or as allowances when awarded, include the grant revenue on this line and in Part C.
Private Grants and Contracts
04 – Private grants and contracts – Enter revenues from private (non-governmental) entities including revenue from research or training projects and similar activities.
05 – Investment income and investment gains (losses) included in net income –Enter all investment income including: dividends; interest; rents and royalties; gains and losses (realized and unrealized) from holding investments that are included in net income in accordance with the SFAS No. 115; student loan interest; and amounts distributed from irrevocable trusts held by others (collectively referred to as "investment income").
Part D, line 05 should include all investment income and net investment gains (losses) included in net income in your institution’s GPFS. Net investment gains (losses) included in other comprehensive income should not be reported.
06 – Sales and services of educational activities – Enter all revenues derived from the sales of goods or services that are incidental to the conduct of instruction, research or public service, and revenues of activities that exist to provide instructional and laboratory experience for students and that incidentally create goods and services that may be sold. Examples include film rentals, scientific and literary publications, testing services, university presses, dairies, and patient care clinics that are not part of a hospital.
08 – Other revenue - This calculated value is generated using this formula:
D08 = D09 – (D01 + … + D06)
The amount above should be equal to corresponding amounts found in your GPFS. Excluded from this amount are gains or other unusual or nonrecurring items, such as gains on the sale of plant assets and extraordinary gains. If this generated amount is negative, this is an indication that amounts entered on this screen are not consistent with your audited GPFS or underlying records.
09 – Total revenues and investment return - Enter all revenues that agree with the revenues recognized in the institution's GPFS.
10 – 12-month Student FTE from E12 – This number for full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment is carried over from the 12-month enrollment survey.
11 – Total revenues and investment return per Student FTE – This amount is generated by dividing line 09 by line 10. This calculated value is used by the system to compare the data reported by the institution to the data of institutions that are in the same sector (e.g., public/private, 4-year/2-year) to see if the calculated value is an extreme value that is too high or low. While it is not anticipated that your institution would have the same overall revenues, this comparison may be useful for ensuring that all appropriate revenues have been included in the finance survey component, or excluded when appropriate.
Part E – Expenses by Function
Part E is intended to report expenses by function. All expenses recognized in the GPFS should be reported using the expense functions provided on lines 01–06. These functional categories are consistent with Chapter 5 (Accounting for Private Colleges and Universities) of the NACUBO FARM. (FARM para. 504)
Although for-profit institutions are not required to report expenses by functions in their GPFS, please report expenses by functional categories using your underlying accounting records. Expenses should be assigned to functional categories by direct identification with a function, wherever possible. When direct assignment to functional categories is not possible, an allocation is appropriate. Objective methods of allocating expense are preferable to subjective methods and may be based on financial or nonfinancial data. The total for expenses on line 07 should agree with the total expenses reported in your GPFS including interest expense and any other non-operating expense.
Do not include losses or other unusual or nonrecurring items in Part E. Operation and maintenance of plant, depreciation, and interest expenses are to be distributed among the other functional expense categories.
Refer to these specific instructions for more information about reporting expenses.
Expenses by Function
01 – Instruction – Enter the instruction expenses of the colleges, schools, departments, and other instructional divisions of the institution and expenses for departmental research and public service that are not separately budgeted. The instruction category includes general academic instruction, occupational and vocational instruction, special session instruction, community education, preparatory and adult basic education, and remedial and tutorial instruction conducted by the teaching faculty for the institution’s students. Include expenses for both credit and non-credit activities. Exclude expenses for academic administration if the primary function is administration (e.g., academic deans). Such expenses should be entered on line 03.
02 – Research and Public Service – Enter the sum of expenses for research and public service. Each term is described below.
Research – Includes all expenses for activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes and either commissioned by an agency external to the institution or separately budgeted by an organizational unit within the institution. The category includes institutes and research centers, and individual and project research. Do not report nonresearch sponsored programs (e.g., training programs) on this line. Training programs generally are reported on line 01 (Instruction).
Public service – Includes all expenses specifically for public service and for activities established primarily to provide noninstructional services beneficial to groups external to the institution. Examples are seminars and projects provided to the particular sectors of the community. Include expenses for community services, cooperative extension services, and public broadcasting services.
03 – Academic support, Student services and Institutional support – Enter the sum of expenses for academic support, student services, and institutional support.
Each term is described below.
Academic support – Includes expenses for support services that are an integral part of the institution’s primary mission of instruction, research, or public service and that are not charged directly to these primary programs. Include expenses for libraries, museums, galleries, audio/visual services, academic development, academic computing support, course and curriculum development, and academic administration. Include expenses for medical, veterinary and dental clinics if their primary purpose is to support the institutional program, that is, they are not part of a hospital.
Student services – Includes expenses for admissions, registrar activities and activities whose primary purpose is to contribute to students emotional and physical well-being and to their intellectual, cultural and social development outside the context of the formal instructional program. Examples are career guidance, counseling, financial aid administration, student records, athletics, and student health services, except when operated as a self-supporting auxiliary enterprise.
Institutional support – Includes all expenses for the day-to-day operational support of the institution. Include expenses for general administrative services, executive direction and planning, legal and fiscal operations, administrative computing support, and public relations/development.
05 – Net grant aid to students (net of tuition and fee allowances and agency transactions) – Enter on this line ONLY student aid recognized as expenses in your GPFS. Whereas in the past, most student awards were recorded as expenses under this classification, most student awards will now be reported as either scholarship allowances or agency transactions. Student awards made from contributed funds or grant funds that are under the control of the institution (the institution decides who gets the award) result in allowances that reduce tuition or auxiliary enterprise revenue and should not be treated as an expense. Student awards made from grant funds that are made to students identified by the grantor are considered agency transactions and do not result in either revenues or expenses. Student aid in the form of allowances applied to tuition and fees should be reported in Part C, line 06 and not included in Part E, line 05. Student aid in the form of allowances applied to auxiliary services should be reported in Part C, line 07 and not included in Part E, line 05.
According to NACUBO Advisory Report 97-1 (January 17, 1997), grant aid to students are "expenses to the extent that the organization incurs incremental expense in providing goods and services". Thus, payments made by the institution to students or third parties in support of the total cost of education are expenses if those payments are made for goods and services NOT provided by the institution. Examples include payments for services to third parties (including students) for off-campus housing or for the cost of board not provided by institutional contract meal plans.
06 – All other expenses – This calculated value is generated using this formula:
E06 = E07 – (E01 + … + E05)
Because this is a generated number, data providers are advised to compare this amount with a corresponding amount in the institution's GPFS. If these amounts differ materially, the data provider is advised to check the other amounts provided on this screen for data entry errors.
07 – Total expenses - Enter all expenses that agree with the expenses recognized in the institution's GPFS.
08 – 12-month Student FTE from E12 - This number for full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment is carried over from the 12-month enrollment survey.
09 – Total expenses per Student FTE - This amount is generated by dividing line 07 by line 08. This calculated value is used by the system to compare the data reported by the institution to the data of institutions that are in the same sector (e.g., public/private, 4-year/2-year) to see if the calculated value is an extreme value that is too high or low. While it is not anticipated that your institution would have the same overall expenses, this comparison may be useful for ensuring that all appropriate expenses have been included in the finance survey component, or excluded when appropriate.