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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

IPEDS Considers Improving Finance Survey

May 18, 2015

An independent contractor for the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) web-based data collection system convened a Technical Review Panel (TRP) to "discuss strategies to increase the accuracy and utility of the financial information collected through various IPEDS finance forms."

The TRP has released a 10-page report outlining a number of proposals in the following areas:

  • Finance data at the program level
  • Finance data at the student level
  • Addition or deletion of natural expense categories
  • Addition or deletion of functional expense categories
  • Government aid such as Pell Grants
  • Eliminating or reducing detail for smaller institutions
  • Increasing the accuracy of parent/child reporting relationships
  • Streamlining of forms, definitions, and instructions

Over the last decade, two Finance Survey TRPs have suggested increasing the amount of data collected to improve comparability and utility, but many have debated whether more data can improve the usefulness of an already lengthy survey form. Further, differences in accounting standards and institutional operations add to the challenges of comparing financial attributes across institutions. Consequently, this panel was asked to consider reform.

The TRP consisted of 48 individuals representing colleges and universities, governmental entities, higher education associations, accounting standards setters, and other stakeholders.

Comments on the TRP's observations are due June 12. NACUBO encourages institutions to review the report and submit feedback directly to the IPEDS project director or send comments to NACUBO for inclusion in the industry comment letter.


Sue Menditto
Director, Accounting Policy

Ken Redd
Director, Research and Policy Analysis