Graduation Rates Full Instructions - 4-Year Institutions
 


Purpose of the Survey

Changes in Reporting

General Instructions
Reporting Period Covered
Context Boxes

Coverage
Who to Include
Who to Exclude

Where to Get Help for Reporting

Where the Reported Data Will Appear

Reporting Directions
Screening Questions
Reporting Individuals by Racial/Ethnic Categories
Section I: Establishing and Revising Cohorts
Section II: Bachelor's Degree Subcohort
Section III: Other Degree/Certificate-Seeking Subcohorts


Purpose of Survey
The purpose of the Graduation Rates component of IPEDS is to track the cohorts of first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates, as well as their completion status at 100% and 150% of normal time at postsecondary institutions. These data are collected to assist institutions in complying with the Student Right to Know Act.

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Changes in Reporting

Institutions must report using the new race/ethnicity categories. Cohorts must be revised to reflect the new categories. A page has been added to crosswalk any data in the initial cohort that was reported in the old or mixed race/ethnicity categories to the new categories.

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General Instructions



Reporting Period Covered

This report requests data on a cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates enrolled in your institution either (1) as of October 15, 2006 or (2) during the period between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007. Institutions are to report the status of these students as of August 31, 2012.

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Context Boxes

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.

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Coverage

Who to Include in the Cohort

Include all full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students entering the institution either during the fall term or during the 12-month period as described above. Include students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. For institutions that will report using a full-year cohort, count as entering students all those students who entered the institution between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007, and who were enrolled for at least 15 days in a program of up to, and including, one year in length, or 30 days in a program of greater than one year in length.

Students must be enrolled in courses creditable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. Include students enrolled in courses that are part of a vocational or occupational program, INCLUDING those enrolled in off-campus centers and those enrolled in distance learning/home study programs.

Be sure to include full-time students taking remedial courses if the student is considered degree-seeking for the purpose of student financial aid determination.

A student who is designated as a member of the cohort remains in the cohort, even if the student:

  • Becomes a part-time student.
  • Transfers to another institution.
  • Drops out of the institution.
  • Stops out of the institution.
  • Has not fulfilled the institution's requirements to receive a degree or certificate.
Who to Exclude from the Cohort

DO NOT include students in the cohort who are:

  • Enrolled exclusively in courses not creditable toward a formal award or the completion of a vocational program.
  • Exclusively taking CEUs.
  • Exclusively auditing classes.
  • Studying abroad (e.g., at a foreign university) if their enrollment at this institution is only an administrative record and the fee is only nominal.
  • In any branch campus located in a foreign country.
  • Part time.
  • Transfers into the institution.

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Where to Get Help

IPEDS Data Collection Help Desk

Phone: 1-877-225-2568
Email: ipedshelp@rti.org

AIR Website

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.

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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:

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Reporting Instructions



Screening Questions
  • Please provide the URL where the Student-Right-to-Know student athlete graduation rates are posted on your institution's website.

  • The method used to establish the cohort reported on this survey has been predetermined by your institution's response to the predominant calendar system question (D1) on the Institutional Characteristics survey component of the IPEDS Fall 2012 Data Collection, according to the following rules:

    1. Institutions that offer a predominant number of programs based on standard academic terms (semesters, trimesters, quarters, or 4-1-4 plan) will report using a fall cohort of students. Institutions may use a census date of October 15, 2006, or the end of the institution's drop-add period, or another official fall reporting date to determine the cohort. This should be the same reporting date established for your IPEDS Fall Enrollment report.

    2. Institutions that do not offer a predominant number of programs based on standard academic terms (as defined above) will report using a full-year cohort. These institutions must count as entering students all those students who entered the institution between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007, and who were enrolled for at least 15 days in a program of up to, and including, one year in length, or 30 days in a program of greater than one year in length.

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Reporting Persons by Racial/Ethnic Category
Reporting Persons by Racial/Ethnic Category (1997 OMB)
This information is being collected in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Sec. 421(a)(1) of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act. These instructions correspond with the Final Guidance on Maintaining, Collecting, and Reporting Racial and Ethnic Data to the U.S. Department of Education, published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2007.

Method of collection
- Institutions must collect race and ethnicity information using a 2-question format. The first question is whether the respondent is Hispanic/Latino. The second question is whether the respondent is from one or more races from the following list: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White. Institutions should allow students and staff to self-identify their race and ethnicity. For further details on the guidance for collecting data, please see the full Federal Register notice.

Method of reporting aggregate data - Institutions must report aggregate data to the U.S. Department of Education using the NINE categories below. Racial/ethnic designations are requested only for United States citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

  • Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race

For Non-Hispanic/Latino individuals:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White
  • Two or more races

In addition, the following categories may be used:

  • Nonresident alien
  • Race and ethnicity unknown
Racial/ethnic descriptions - Racial/ethnic designations as used in this survey do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The categories are:
  • Hispanic or Latino- A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native- A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian- A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American- A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander- A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • White - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Other descriptive categories

  • Nonresident alien - A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely. NOTE - Nonresident aliens are to be reported separately, in the boxes provided, rather than included in any of the seven racial/ethnic categories. Resident aliens and other eligible (for financial aid purposes) non-citizens who are not citizens or nationals of the United States and who have been admitted as legal immigrants for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident alien status (and who hold either an alien registration card (Form I-551 or I-151), a Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688), or an Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) with a notation that conveys legal immigrant status such as Section 207 Refugee, Section 208 Asylee, Conditional Entrant Parolee or Cuban-Haitian) are to be reported in the appropriate racial/ethnic categories along with United States citizens.
  • Race and ethnicity unknown - This category is used only if the person did not select EITHER a racial or ethnic designation.

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Section I – Establishing Cohorts

Report each student only once.

If your institution determines degree intent upon entry, students in your revised initial cohort are to be separated into two groups or subcohorts: (1) students entering bachelor’s or equivalent degree programs and (2) students seeking other than a bachelor’s degree (associate’s degree, certificates, etc.).

Institutions that do not determine degree intent upon entry should report all students as if they are bachelor’s degree-seeking.

Please complete all of Section I; screens for Sections II and III will be generated based on the data you report in Section I.

Initial cohort - If you are reporting on a fall cohort, the information you reported on line 01 of your 2006 IPEDS Fall Enrollment report will be preloaded in this column. If you did not respond to that survey, or if you are reporting on a full-year cohort, the column will be blank.

Revised cohort (Column 01) - Please review the data in the initial cohort column, and re-enter the cohort data according to the 1997 racial/ethnic categories and gender in this column. Also make any necessary corrections for omissions or double counting in the revised cohort column. If your data do not appear in the initial cohort column, please provide the enrollment data as requested in the revised cohort column.




Section I – Establishing Subcohorts

Revised Cohort (Column 01) – These are data are loaded from page 1 of Section I.

Bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort (Column 02) – of the revised cohort, indicate how many students declared intent to seek the bachelor's or equivalent degree upon entry. As indicated above, this should also include any students whose intent was not known. These data are brought forward to Section II. 

Other degree/certificate-seeking subcohort (Column 03) – This is the difference between the revised cohort and the bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort. It is calculated for you. This indicates how many students declared intent to seek other than a bachelor's level degree (i.e., an associate's degree or other formal award) upon entry. These data are brought forward to Section III. 



Section II – Completers - Bachelor’s or Equivalent Degree-Seeking Subcohort
Report each student only once.

Report the status of the 2006 subcohort of bachelor’s or equivalent degree-seeking students as of 150% of normal time to completion or August 31, 2012 (whichever was earlier) in terms of the number of completers by type of program completed. Report all students by race/ethnicity and gender.

Report only for full-time, first-time students seeking a bachelor’s or equivalent degree. DO NOT include students who transferred into your institution.

Count completers only once and indicate the highest degree level attained.

SPECIAL NOTE: In order to resolve a potential conflict between transfers out and the mission of particular programs to prepare students for transfer to other institutions, institutions may count as completers those students who have successfully completed a transfer-preparatory program.

Transfer-preparatory program is defined in 34 CFR Student Assistance General Provisions, Section 668.8(b)(1)(ii) as "the successful completion of at least a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree and qualifies a student for admission into the third year of a bachelor’s degree program." The Secretary considers this the equivalent of an associate’s degree. Similarly, institutions may count as completers, those students who have successfully completed the first three years of a 3-2 program and are eligible to enter another institution to complete the program. The student receives full credit toward a 5-year bachelor’s degree and qualifies the student for admission into the fourth year of a 5-year bachelor’s degree program.

Bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort (Column 10) - These are the data as reported in Section I.

In order to calculate a graduation rate to comply with Student Right-to-Know regulations, institutions can count as completers only those students who received their degree/certificate (or completed a transfer-preparatory program) within 150% of normal program time (normal time to completion is the amount of time necessary to complete all requirements for a program according to your institution's catalog). Do not count as completers students who receive their degree from another institution.

Note that completers should be reported in terms of type of program completed as defined by award levels. Program types may not be indicative of the actual calendar time a program takes to complete for programs that are defined in terms of contact or credit hours. For more information of program  types, please consult the IPEDS Glossary.

Completers of less-than 2-year program within 150% (Column 11) - Enter the number of students who completed programs of less than 2 years within 150% of normal time. This includes certificates of less than one year (or equivalent) and certificates of at least one year, but less than two years (or equivalent). 

Completers of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years within 150% (Column 12) - Enter the number of students who completed programs of at least 2 years but less than 4 years within 150% of normal time to completion of their program. This includes certificates of at least two years but less than four years (or equivalent) and associate's degrees.  

Completed Bachelor's degree within 150% (Column 18) - Enter the number of students who completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent program within 150% of normal time. Note: Include completers of 3-year bachelor’s degree programs only if they completed within 4-1/2 years.

Total completers within 150% (Column 29) - This column is the sum of the previous three columns, and is calculated by the data collection system.



Section II – Bachelor’s Degree Completers Length of Time to Degree

Report each student only once.

Report completers of bachelor's degrees or equivalent according to how long it took them to complete their program. Include all baccalaureate level degrees, including 5-year bachelor's (including cooperative) programs, and those bachelor's degrees in which the normal 4 years of work are completed in 3 years. Of the total number of completers of bachelor's or equivalent degrees within 150% of normal time you reported (Column 18), provide the following breakout:

Completed the program in 4 yrs or less (Column 19) - Report all students who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent in 4 years or less in this column. Include all students who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent by August 31, 2010.

Completed the program in 5 yrs (Column 20) - Report all students who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent in 5 years in this column. Include all students who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent in the period from September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2011. Do NOT include students who completed their program in 4 years or less in this column.

Completed the program in 6 yrs (Column 21) - This column is the difference between the completers of bachelor's degree or equivalent within 150% of normal time (Column 18) and the sum of those who completed the program in 4 years or less (Column 19) and those who completed the program in 5 years (Column 20). Included are all students who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent in the period from September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012. This column will be calculated by the data collection system.



Section II – Noncompleters - Bachelor’s or Equivalent Degree-Seeking Subcohort 

Report each student only once.

Report the status of the noncompleters from the 2006 subcohort of bachelor’s or equivalent degree-seeking students as of 150% of the normal time to completion for their program or August 31, 2012 (whichever was earlier) . Report all students by race/ethnicity and gender.

Report only for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students. DO NOT include students who transferred into your institution.

Bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort (Column 10) – These data are loaded from page 2 of Section I.

Total completers within 150% (Column 29) - These data are loaded from page 2 of Section I.

Total transfer-out students (Column 30) - If the mission of your institution includes providing substantial preparation for students to enroll in another eligible institution, report the total number of students who transferred out of your institution (without a degree/award) within 150% of normal time to completion. Include students who transferred out of your institution and subsequently re-enrolled. If it is not part of your mission, you may report transfer-out data if you wish.

Total exclusions (Column 45)- Indicate the total number of students who left your institution within 150% of normal time to completion for their program (and have neither graduated nor transferred to another institution) because of one of the following documented reasons: 
 
  1. The student is deceased or is totally and permanently disabled and thus unable to return to school.
  2. The student left school to serve in the armed forces or was called to active duty. (DO NOT include students already in the military who transfer to another duty station.)
  3. The student left school to serve with a foreign aid service of the Federal Government, such as the Peace Corps.
  4. The student left school to serve on an official church mission.

NOTE: Students who leave the institution for one of the reasons noted in b, c, or d above, but return prior to the status date of August 31, 2012, may be subtracted from the cohort during the calculation of graduation rates.

Still enrolled (Column 51) - Report the number of students who were still enrolled at your institution as 150% of normal time to completion of their program (or August 31, 2012 if 150% of normal time to completion had not elapsed by that time).

No longer enrolled (Column 52) - This column is generated by subtracting from Column 10 the sum of Columns 29, 30, 45 and 51. This column should include students who graduated from their program after 150% of normal time to completion elapsed.



Section III – Completers - Other Than a Bachelor’s Degree-Seeking Subcohort
Report each student only once.

Report the status of the 2006 subcohort of students seeking other than a bachelor's degree as of 150% of normal time to completion or August 31, 2012 (whichever was earlier) in terms of the number of completers by type of program completed. Report all students by race/ethnicity and gender.

Report only for full-time, first-time students seeking undergraduate degrees or certificates other than a bachelor’s degree. DO NOT include students who transferred into your institution.


Count completers only once and indicate the highest degree level attained.

SPECIAL NOTE: In order to resolve a potential conflict between transfers out and the mission of particular programs to prepare students for transfer to other institutions, institutions may count as completers those students who have successfully completed a transfer-preparatory program.

Transfer-preparatory program is defined in 34 CFR Student Assistance General Provisions, Section 668.8(b)(1)(ii) as "the successful completion of at least a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree and qualifies a student for admission into the third year of a bachelor’s degree program." The Secretary considers this the equivalent of an associate’s degree. Similarly, institutions may count as completers, those students who have successfully completed the first three years of a 3-2 program and are eligible to enter another institution to complete the program. The student receives full credit toward a 5-year bachelor’s degree and qualifies the student for admission into the fourth year of a 5-year bachelor’s degree program.

Other degree-seeking subcohort (Column 10) - These are the data as reported in Section I.

In order to calculate a graduation rate to comply with Student Right-to-Know regulations, institutions can count as completers only those students who received their degree/certificate (or completed a transfer-preparatory program) within 150% of normal program time (normal time to completion is the amount of time necessary to complete all requirements for a program according to your institution's catalog). Do not count as completers students who receive their degree from another institution.

Note that completers should be reported in terms of type of program completed as defined by award levels. Program types may not be indicative of the actual calendar time a program takes to complete for programs that are defined in terms of contact or credit hours. For more information of program  types, please consult the IPEDS Glossary.

Completers of less-than 2-year program within 150% (Column 11) - Enter the number of students who completed programs of less than 2 years within 150% of normal time. This includes certificates of less than one year (or equivalent) and certificates of at least one year, but less than two years (or equivalent). 

Completers of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years within 150% (Column 12) - Enter the number of students who completed programs of at least 2 years but less than 4 years within 150% of normal time to completion of their program. This includes certificates of at least two years but less than four years (or equivalent) and associate's degrees.  

Completed Bachelor's degree within 150% (Column 18) - Enter the number of students who completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent program within 150% of normal time. Note: Include completers of 3-year bachelor’s degree programs only if they completed within 4-1/2 years.

Total completers within 150% (Column 29) - This column is the sum of the previous three columns, and is calculated by the data collection system.



Section III – Noncompleters - Other than a Bachelor’s Degree-Seeking Subcohort 

Report each student only once.

Report the noncompleters of the 2006 subcohort of students seeking other than a bachelor's degree as of 150% of normal time to completion or August 31, 2012  (whichever was earlier). Report all students by race/ethnicity and gender.

Report only for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students. DO NOT include students who transferred into your institution.

Other degree-seeking subcohort (Column 10) – These are data are loaded from page 2 of Section II.

Total completers within 150% (Column 29) - These are data are loaded from page 2 of Section I.

Total transfer-out students (Column 30) - If the mission of your institution includes providing substantial preparation for students to enroll in another eligible institution, report the total number of students who transferred out of your institution (without a degree/award) within 150% of normal time to completion. Include students who transferred out of your institution and subsequently re-enrolled. If it is not part of your mission, you may report transfer-out data if you wish.

Total exclusions (Column 45)- Indicate the total number of students who left your institution within 150% of normal time to completion for their program (and have neither graduated nor transferred to another institution) because of one of the following documented reasons: 
 

  1. The student is deceased or is totally and permanently disabled and thus unable to return to school.
  2. The student left school to serve in the armed forces or was called to active duty. (DO NOT include students already in the military who transfer to another duty station.)
  3. The student left school to serve with a foreign aid service of the Federal Government, such as the Peace Corps.
  4. The student left school to serve on an official church mission.

NOTE: Students who leave the institution for one of the reasons noted in b, c, or d above, but return prior to the status date of August 31, 2012, may be subtracted from the cohort during the calculation of graduation rates.

Still enrolled (Column 51) - Report the number of students who were still enrolled at your institution as 150% of normal time to completion of their program (or August 31, 2012 if 150% of normal time to completion had not elapsed by that time).

No longer enrolled (Column 52) - This column is generated by subtracting from Column 10 the sum of Columns 29, 30, 45 and 51. This column should include students who graduated from their program after 150% of normal time to completion elapsed.



Calculation of Graduation and Transfer-out Rates

Worksheets

Worksheets calculating the Student Right-To-Know completion/graduation and transfer-out rates of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students for the 2006 student cohort are provided as a convenience to the institution. A worksheet calculating 4-year, 5-year, and 6-year graduation rates for the 2005 bachelor's or equivalent degree-seeking subcohort are provided for those institutions that are able to report bachelor's or equivalent completers by length of time to degree.

Worksheets calculating the overall four-year average completion/graduation and transfer-out rates of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students for the student cohort are also provided. Data previously reported by the institution have been preloaded to use in these calculations.

Note that the information on these worksheets will NOT appear on College Navigator or on any of the IPEDS data tools.

Privacy Issues With Disclosure

Before using the worksheets for disclosure, please consider the following:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (1998) (FERPA) requires that institutions not disclose information where students could be identified.