The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Institute of Education Sciences within the United States Department of Education. IPEDS gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs. The data collected IPEDS is used to track trends in postsecondary education, to inform policy decisions, and to help students make informed choices about their education.

What data does IPEDS collect?

IPEDS collects data on a variety of topics, including:

  • Enrollments
  • Degrees and certificates awarded
  • Financial aid
  • Faculty and staff
  • Finances
  • Institutional prices
  • Graduation rates
  • Student characteristics

How does IPEDS collect data?

Data are submitted at the aggregated-level from postsecondary institutions and do not have student-level information. Institutions submit data through 12 interrelated survey components about general higher education topics for 3 reporting periods: fall, winter, and spring.

How can I use IPEDS data?

IPEDS data is available to the public through a variety of ways, including:

  • The IPEDS Data Center
  • The IPEDS Data Explorer

These resources allow users to search, download, and analyze IPEDS data to answer questions about postsecondary education, such as:

  • How many students are enrolled in college?
  • What are the most popular majors?
  • How much financial aid do students receive?
  • What are the graduation rates for different types of institutions?

How can I get help with IPEDS data?

The NCES provides a variety of resources to help users with IPEDS data, including:

  • The IPEDS Help Center
  • The IPEDS Data User Guide
  • The IPEDS Data Quality Manual

These resources can help users understand how to use IPEDS data, how to interpret the data, and how to avoid common errors.


IPEDS is a valuable resource for anyone interested in postsecondary education. The data collected IPEDS can be used to track trends, inform policy decisions, and help students make informed choices about their education. If you are interested in learning more about IPEDS, I encourage you to visit the NCES website or contact the IPEDS Help Center.