What is IPEDS?
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of interrelated surveys that collect institutional-level data from all U.S. postsecondary institutions that participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. IPEDS data are used for a variety of initiatives including in the Institutional rankings, college guide books, national studies, and the annual Data Feedback Report (IPEDS-DFR).
IPEDS reporting: IPEDS Ethnicity Reporting Rules
The completion of all IPEDS surveys in a timely and accurate manner is mandatory for all institutions that participate in or are applicants for participation in any federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Submitting IPEDS data accurately and on time is required by the Program Participation Agreement for Title IV federal student financial aid programs with the U.S. Department of Education. In this way, an institution will avoid fines and other possible penalties for noncompliance with IPEDS reporting requirements.
IPEDS data are a public face of an institution.
- IPEDS data are used in the College Navigator consumer information and college search tool, designed to help college students, prospective students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college. This tool gets a million page views a month, and is increasingly being used by high school counselors as they help students identify postsecondary educational opportunities.
- IPEDS data are displayed on the FAFSA online As potential students apply for financial aid, they can see the tuition and fees, average net price, graduation rates, retention rates, and transfer rates for schools as reported through IPEDS.
- IPEDS data are used, in conjunction with other federal data sources, in the College Scorecard. This consumer tool provides information on colleges including the average annual cost to attend, fields of study offered, earnings of graduates, and more.
- IPEDS data are also used for the College Affordability and Transparency Center, which lists institutions with the highest and lowest tuition and fees as well as the highest and lowest net prices (the price of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid). It also shows institutions where tuition and fees and net prices are increasing at the highest rates; institutions on these lists are subject to additional reporting to the US Department of Education. The lists are made from the IPEDS data your institution submits.
- The IPEDS Data Feedback Report provides each institution a context for examining the data they submitted to IPEDS. The goal is to produce an annual report that is useful to institutional executives and institutions for benchmarking and peer analysis, and that can help improve the quality and comparability of IPEDS data. The report is mailed to Chief Executive Officers each fall. PDF versions of the reports are available to institutions and the public at IPEDS Data Feedback Reports.