Skip navigation
EAB Logo Navigate to the EAB Homepage Navigate to EAB home

What is IPEDS?

Learn what IPEDS is in higher education and how you can improve your IPEDS reporting. Get started with EAB today.

What is IPEDS?

IPEDS stands for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. It refers to a system of 12 surveys managed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The purpose of the surveys is to collect valuable information from colleges, universities, technical schools, and vocational institutions.

IPEDS surveys are conducted to analyze trends and provide the Department of Education with comprehensive information on higher education schools that can inform decision-making about these programs. The data collected in IPEDS surveys include information on: 

  • School costs
  • Admission and enrollment (fall enrollment, total entering class, age data)
  • Student financial aid
  • Student demographics
  • Program retention rates
  • Institutional resources

Once the data is collected, the National Center for Education Statistics verifies it and makes it publicly available online.

Is IPEDS Mandatory?

All higher education institutions that participate in any federal financial assistance program must complete and submit IPEDS surveys. Additionally, Title IV schools are required to complete a yearly reporting map before submitting IPEDS data.

The reporting map describes how the school’s data is listed on the institution’s PPA. In addition to Title IV programs, other institutions have to report to IPEDS. These institutions include:

  • For-profit institutions
  • Community colleges
  • Non-degree institutions (e.g., Cosmetology or Culinary Schools)
  • Liberal arts colleges

When are IPEDS Reporting Periods?

Reporting periods for IPEDS surveys are broken up into three periods:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring

Surveys on institutional characteristics, completions, and the 12-month enrollment period are collected during the fall. In the winter, the surveys include information on financial aid, graduation rates, and admissions. Finally, information on fall enrollment and human resources is collected during the spring.

Keep in mind that the NCES is responsible for collaborating with institutions to ensure the right data is collected throughout the school year. The data may come from several departments, but IPEDS keyholders are responsible for submitting the data.

Who uses IPEDS Data?

IPEDS data is used by several entities and organizations, including:

  • Professional associations
  • Private businesses
  • Education providers
  • Researchers
  • Policymakers

Improve Your Enrollment Strategy and IPEDS Reporting with EAB

EAB works with 1,200+ institutions in the area of Marketing and Enrollment, providing guidance on enrollment strategy along with access to data and analytics. Explore EAB’s Enroll360 solution to learn how we transform enrollment outcomes for partners.

Simplify and streamline your IPEDS reporting processes with EAB’s data management platform, Edify. Discover how our data automation solution enhances your institution’s reporting and decision making.

For any IPEDS-related inquiries, feel free to reach out to us.