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Updated Comment Periods for IPEDS Proposals

March 7, 2007

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently invited comments on two separate documents, both including proposed changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). One document--a scaled-down version of proposals that some have called "Huge IPEDS"--is to be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and includes proposed changes to many of the IPEDS Surveys. The other document details recommendations from a technical review panel held in January focused on the IPEDS Finance Surveys.  NACUBO reported on this TRP and the resulting recommendations in its February 22 E-bulletin.  Due to the confusion created by both documents being open for comment at the same time, NCES has decided to focus first on the OMB package. NCES will not to take comments on the recommendations from the IPEDS Finance TRP until after the proposed OMB package has been through the required comment periods and processes, no earlier than May 31st.  NACUBO will continue to follow developments related to the recommendations from the IPEDS Finance TRP and will inform members when the document is again open for comment.

The proposed OMB package that is currently open for comment includes a number of changes to the various IPEDS Surveys.  Noteworthy changes in the package include one proposed addition to the IPEDS Finance Survey—adding a question to collect the undergraduate instruction expenses per undergraduate FTE student.  The package also includes a new section on accountability to be added to the Institutional Characteristics survey.  Questions within this new section would include asking if the responding institution participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), the National Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP), or other assessment tools. The survey would also request the URL where the institution's results are posted if available online.  In addition, institutions would be asked to complete a matrix detailing accountability measures used by the institution and its scores on those measures. 

A matrix summarizing the changes proposed in this package is available on the NACUBO Web site.  Additional detail about the proposed changes included in the OMB package can be found on the NCES Web site.

Look for further communication from NACUBO regarding the specific changes proposed in the OMB package that will be of particular interest to you.  NACUBO plans to comment based on your input and encourages all members to provide insights for contribution to the comment letter. Comments are due to NCES by March 26. 
NACUBO contacts:  Jessica Shedd, director, research and policy analysis, 202.861.2527, and Sue Menditto, director, accounting policy, 202.861.2542.