ED Releases Feasibility Study on IPEDS Student Unit Records
March 23, 2005
A report examining the feasibility of replacing the student-related data components of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System with student unit records was submitted to Congress by the U.S. Department of Education on March 21. However, before any IPEDS redesign could move forward, legislative authorization through amendments to the Higher Education Act and an appropriation of funds by Congress would be needed.
If authorized and funded, the student unit record system would replace the following IPEDS surveys currently used to collect data from institutions in aggregate form:
- Fall Enrollment
- Student Financial Aid
- Graduations Rates
Under the proposal, data would be collected at the student level, including elements such as Social Security numbers, individual course loads and completions, and individual financial aid package information. All students, even those that receive no federal student assistance, would be included.
The study looked at whether such a systemcould be constructed technically as well as whether oneshould be developed by soliciting the input of states, institutions, and other key stakeholders. Availability of such data would allow for more accurate calculations of enrollment patterns, including transfer rates and co-enrollments, completion and persistence patterns, and for the first time, an institution’s net price of attendance.
However, the challenges of implementing such a system are many, including privacy and confidentiality of sensitive data, increased institutional burden, technical issues across varying information systems within institutions, and timing. For many colleges and universities, student privacy issues and data security were of significant concern. ED argues in the report, however, that the National Center for Education Statistics has adequate safeguards to protect student privacy and ensure data security. Critics of the proposed plan remain skeptical, fearing that students' private information will not be used for intended educational purposes.
"Feasibility of a Student Unit Record System Within the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System" can be downloaded from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics Web site.
The NACUBO contact is Jessica M. Shedd, director, research and policy analysis.
- House and Senate Approve FY16 Budget Resolutions
- NACUBO Submits Comments to CFPB on Safe Student Account Scorecard
- Senate Committee Seeks Feedback on Policy Papers
- 2015 Higher Education Accounting Forum
April 26-28, 2015
- 2015 CAO and CBO Collaborations
August 3-4, 2015
- 2015 Planning and Budgeting Forum
September 28-29, 2015
- WEBCAST: NACUBO LIVE!: The Future Chief Business Officer
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 11:00AM ET
- WEBCAST: Analytics that Support Planning, Budgeting, and Results
Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:00PM ET
- WEBCAST: Corporate Sponsorships: Getting it Right
Thursday, May 14, 2015 1:00PM ET
- WEBCAST: Lessons Learned in Communicating Financial Information Effectively
Monday, May 18, 2015 1:00PM ET
- ON-DEMAND: Looking Under the Hood: Using Web-based Tools for Evaluating Institutional Financial Aid Policy
- ON-DEMAND: VIRTUAL: 2014 Annual Meeting
- A Guide to College and University Budgeting: Foundations for Institutional Effectiveness, 4th ed. - by Larry Goldstein
- NACUBO's Guide to Unitizing Investment Pools - by Mary S. Wheeler
- Managing and Collecting Student Accounts and Loans - by David R. Glezerman and Dennis DeSantis