What is IPEDS?

Have you heard the term IPEDS used around the university?  Perhaps you’ve heard about our IPEDS numbers, IPEDS reporting, or IPEDS 1 and IPEDS 2?  If you have questions about IPEDS, UDS is here to help!  IPEDS is an acronym for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, which is a national higher education reporting system overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  Every college and university in the U.S. that receives federal funding for financial aid is required, by law, to report on certain metrics annually to IPEDS.  These metrics include data points related to enrollment, retention, graduation rates, numbers of faculty and staff, financial aid, financial information, and information about the university’s academic library system.  Each year, UDS coordinates and completes the university’s IPEDS submission.  Our IPEDS system at Northeastern can be quite complex because the university reports its key metrics under not one, but two distinct IPEDS entities.  Our first IPEDS entity, Northeastern University, represents the university’s traditional, residential, campus-based programs.  Our second IPEDS entity, Northeastern University Professional Programs, represents the university’s less traditional, online, innovative programs.  It is not uncommon for institutions to report under two or more IPEDS entities; other recognizable institutions who engage in this practice include Purdue, Penn State, and Arizona State, to name a few.

You can find all of the data that UDS reports to IPEDS here, in the IPEDS Data Center.  You can also access the data that is reported by other institutions across the U.S.  This data can be invaluable for benchmarking purposes—it can be enlightening to see how Northeastern compares to other universities across a wide variety of key metrics.  IPEDS data can also have interesting research applications.  Many policy “think tanks” and academic researchers use data from IPEDS for a wide variety of analyses.  The NCES also uses IPEDS data to produce many national publications, including their annual Condition of Education report, which is widely referenced.

If you have any questions about IPEDS, the type of data that Northeastern reports, or anything else “IPEDS,” please don’t hesitate to contact Mindy Anastasia, Director of Institutional Research. (