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Ed Index Compiles Higher Ed Data for Research, Reporting

A non-partisan, nonprofit think tank has produced an online resource where people can access and download data on U.S. higher education for use in research, reporting and public access.

New America's new Higher Ed Index pulls data at the institution level from three federal sources: the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the Federal Student Aid Data Center and the College Scorecard. Institutions are included only if they report directory information to IPEDS and have been active in the most recent academic year.

The data can be viewed over time at the institution, state and national levels and can be filtered by dozens of categories. For example, the institution files contain header information for each school, including the name and location, sector, unique identifiers and other institutional characteristics. The schools file has data on graduation and retention rates, transfer rates, cost of attendance, endowments, the share of students receiving aid and the average amount of aid received, as well as other data.

Among the many "other" indicators are data on cohort default rates, endowments, graduation rates, instructional expenses, postgraduate earnings, SAT/ACT averages and retention rates.

As a company spokesman noted, "If you've ever needed to quickly figure out how the average net price of attendance at Penn State University has changed over time, what share of students in Arkansas institutions received Pell grants in the latest year, or how total enrollment has fluctuated in the U.S., that information is now just a few clicks away."

The Ed Index is on the New America website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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