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One of the challenges of benchmarking can be finding the right data. Below are details about some data sources that may help you get started in your benchmarking efforts.

General Higher Education Data

Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) Data
IPEDS data, collected annually by the National Center for Education Statistics, allow institutions to create data for all institutions in the U.S. or for self-selected peer group. Data available include: Enrollment, Finances, Institutional Characteristics, and Staffing. This service is available for no charge from the IPEDS Data Center. Contact the IPEDS Help Desk for more information.

Endowment and Finance Data

NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments (NTSE)
The NTSE is the largest source of data on college and university endowment performance and management in North America. The data are based on an annual survey of college and university endowments and affiliated foundations in the United States and Canada. Aggregate data is available to the through several public tables, or through purchasing the study's results through the NACUBO online bookstore. Participating institutions receive complimentary access to the full report at no charge and receive access to institutionally specific confidential data. For more information on the NTSE, go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

CASE AMAtlas Data Miner
The AMAtas Data Miner, supported by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), provides institution-specific longitudinal and comparative metrics on charitable giving to U.S. colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. The data are collected through the CASE's annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey, which collects data about charitable support, including the source of gifts, the purposes for which they are earmarked, and the size of the largest gifts. A summary of the VSE report findings can be found on the council's website.

Delaware Study of Costs and Productivity
Participation in the cost study allows institutions access to analyses of data on teaching loads by faculty category, direct costs of instruction by academic area, and externally funded research and service productivity. Institutions can access comparative data with national benchmarks by either Carnegie classification or a peer group chosen by the institution. Over 300 institutions participate in the study.

Moody's Municipal Financial Ratio Analysis (MFRA)
Moody's Median's is a subscription service that provides access to Moody's comprehensive database of financial and operating credit statistics in the Higher Education sector and the tools to create custom queries. MFRA includes Pre-set Medians -- key financial and operating statistics on a pre-determined grouping of entities. Contact Moody's to get more information.

Facilities Data

Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers' (APPA) Key Facilities Metrics (KFM) Survey and Report
The KFM Survey contains five modules that collect data on strategic financial measures, costs per square foot for several facilities functions, building age and space use, and personnel costs and staffing levels. Participating institutions receive access to reports showing comparisons of their data to other participants.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Campus Facility Inventory
SCUP's Campus Facility Inventory (CFI) collects data about the physical size and growth patterns of colleges and universities. All participants receive a complete data set for peer comparison purposes. Data sets are not sold to non-participants.

Salary and Benefits Data

American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Compensation Survey
AAUP conducts an annual salary survey which includes data on tenure track and benefits of administrative compensation for selected senior executive positions. Institutional representatives may order custom peer comparison reports that depending on the timing relative to report release, type of request, and the number of peers. An online Faculty Compensation Survey Results Tool is also available. Copies of the full print report are and instructions for accessing the tool are available from AAUP.

College and University Professional Association for Human Resources CUPA-HR) Salary Surveys
CUPA-HR conducts several annual salary and benefits surveys: Administrators in Higher Education, Faculty in Higher Education, and Professionals in Higher Education. For benchmarking, the DataOnDemand application allows users to create peer comparisons. Full reports for each survey are produced and are available for a fee depending on CUPA-HR member status and survey participation status.

Tuition Discounting Data

NACUBO Tuition Discounting Survey
NACUBO's Tuition Discounting Study (TDS) annually collects data from independent, non-profit colleges and universities on the level of institutional student aid, percentage of students receiving institutional grants, net tuition revenues, and other related information. Participants should go to the TDS page for instructions on gaining complimentary access to the final report. Non-participants can purchase the results through NACUBO's online bookstore. In addition to these resources, the NACUBO Online Benchmarking Tool allows participants of the Tuition Discounting Study to compare their institution’s tuition discounting data against a self-selected peer group.Visit the TDS Glopssary/Help Text page for further details about the Tuition Discounting Study. 


Ken Redd

Senior Director, Research and Policy Analysis


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NTSE Frequently Asked Questions

A list of common questions and answers about the NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments (NTSE)