National Higher Education Data

Data and studies on National Higher Education

  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) - The unit of the U.S. Department of Education responsible for collecting data and carrying out studies for education at all levels.
  • Postsecondary Education Opportunity - While this site emphasizes data and analysis on the issue of access to higher education, it contains a wealth of information on a variety of higher education topics. Some portions of this site are password protected and a user name and password must be obtained from the instructor.
  • The National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis - This site is maintained by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). It is designed to provide researchers and planners with policy-oriented information about topics related to higher education in individual states.
  • The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education - This organization provides analysis of a variety of topics including the annual "Measuring Up" report for each state.
  • The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education - This classification of campuses is a widely used means of grouping institutions of higher education according to level of degrees awarded, degree of program specialization, and research orientation.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education - The Chronicle, in addition to providing news of current events, contains an archive of data for reports and studies. You will need to have a subscription to access most parts of this site.
  • College Board - SAT scores and related tables for most recent years both nationally and by state.
  • ACT - ACT scores and analysis both national and by state for recent years.
  • College Results Online - Created by Ed Trust, this site allows the user to view retention and graduation data for individual institutions according to a variety of criteria.
  • College Navigator - This site, which is maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education, provides information that the federal government collects from individual campuses. Although it is oriented to helping students and parents in their college search, it also is a useful vehicle for obtaining planning and research information for individual campuses or groups of campuses.
  • Pell Institute - The Pell Institute is a relatively new organization that provides data, research, and links on the broad topic of access to higher education.
  • Diverse Online (formerly "Black Issues in Higher Education") - This magazine primarily is devoted to higher education issues of concern to African Americans. The site is perhaps best known for its annual rankings of degrees awarded to African Americans and other minorities (Top 100 Degree Producers).   
  • Lumina Foundation - The Lumina Foundation is dedicated to improving access to higher education. In addition to providing grants for access-oriented projects, the Lumina Foundation provides reports on access and graduation issues.
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association - The NCAA site is devoted primarily to information about sports programs at the collegiate level but it also is an excellent source of graduation rate data by sex, race, and ethnicity for individual campuses as well as for groups of campuses.
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers - SHEEO represents state-level leadership in postsecondary education. The site is primarily a collection of reports of state policies and issues.
  • Education Commission of the States - The Education Commission of the States is concerned with state-level research and policy development at all levels of education.
  • Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) - WICHE is a consortium of 15 western states that collaborate in high education projects. WICHE also carries out research and policy studies that are national in scope.
  • Southern Regional Education Board - The SREB is a consortium of 16 southern states that promotes the development of education at all levels, administers a higher education exchange program, and is the source of data and reports.
Higher Education Survey Data  

Postsecondary Surveys

    • Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B) - The first B&B cohort included students, identified in NPSAS:93, who completed a bachelor's degree in 1992-93. Those students were asked a number of questions about their future employment and education expectations as well as about their undergraduate education. The B&B:93 first follow-up in 1994 (B&B: 93/94) collected information about job search activities after graduation as well as information concerning education and employment experiences after graduation. Individuals who had shown an interest in becoming teachers were asked additional questions about their pursuit of this career, and if teaching, about their current teaching position. In addition, the first follow-up collected undergraduate transcripts whenever possible. The second follow-up in 1997 (B&B: 92/97) collected information on education, employment, and other experiences since the last interview. It also collected current Federal aid and loan status information from ED records.

    • Beginning Postsecondary Student Longitudinal Study (BPS) - The BPS followed first time beginning students from the NPSAS conducted in 1989-90. NPSAS:90 asked additional questions of students eligible for BPS concerning background and experiences related to completion of postsecondary education. The BPS:90/92 data further describe the experiences during, and transitions through, postsecondary education and into the labor force, as well as family formation. Transfers, persisters, stopouts/dropouts, and vocational completers were among those who completed interviews in the first follow-up conducted in 1992. In the second follow-up, conducted in 1994, many will have completed a bachelor's degree as well. Base year (NPSAS: 90) data and first follow-up (BPS: 90/92) are available as a single data file.

  • National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) - The NPSAS is a comprehensive study that examines how students and their families pay for postsecondary education. It includes nationally representative samples of undergraduates, graduate and first-professional students; students attending public and private less-than-2-year institutions, community colleges, 4-year colleges, and major universities. Students who receive financial aid as well as those who do not receive financial aid participate in NPSAS. This includes comprehensive student interviews and administrative records, with exceptional detail concerning student financial aid.