Blossoming of magnolia flowers in spring time

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring…IPEDS Data Collection

February!? When did it become February? Well – you know what that means. Winter is wrapping up and spring is on the way.  Spring IPEDS, that is.

Snow on a blooming flower showing transition from winter to spring. Just in time for Spring IPEDS season.

Spring into Action

The IPEDS winter data collection closes soon, very soon — Wednesday, February 12, 2020, to be exact. If you are the IPEDS keyholder (or just deeply involved in IPEDS data at your campus), you may be barely catching your breath from the winter submission. But it’s already time to jump into the spring IPEDS submission, due April 8. You can’t stop the calendar from marching onward. But you can plan intentionally, so that the process is smooth.  

You may have implemented some of the IPEDS planning tips we shared last year. Building on those suggestions, we also recommend preparing for your spring IPEDS submission and creating a plan for turning the data into usable, actionable results. What’s the point of all this work if you can’t use the data for your benefit later, right? 

Cherry blossoms opening in spring - just in time for Spring IPEDS data collection.

One of the most underutilized IPEDS reports is Outcome Measures. This is the newest IPEDS survey – and it is 5 years old already. First collected in the 2015-16 reporting year, IPEDS Outcome Measures (IPEDS-OM for short) collects student success data on ALL of your undergraduate students. And institutions are submitting their IPEDS-OM data this month – in the winter IPEDS data collection. 

That’s right! The long-time complaint that only first-time, full-time students are counted in IPEDS is resolved. And – it gets better. The data are disaggregated by first-time vs. transfer, full-time vs part-time, and Pell vs. Non-Pell. So – when accreditors ask for disaggregated data – guess what? Your institution already has the work done! Just use your IPEDS-OM data. And since all institutions submit these data, you can benchmark to other institutions.

A New Tool for Institutional Storytelling

The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education helps institutions take their IPEDS Outcome Measures data further – giving institutions the opportunity to develop usable, data-driven action steps to improve their completion rates through reliance on the RealityCheck report.  

With your institution’s RealityCheck Report, you can better understand what you’re getting right, and identify areas for improvement. Where is your team making a difference in student success? The reusable graphics make it easy to show others the evidence.  RealityCheck will enable you to better tell your institution’s student success story to both internal and external stakeholders (including accreditors). 

Want to Learn More?  

Find out more about RealityCheck by contacting IEHE.  




The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education (IEHE) innovates and improves higher education standards through our strategic research, publicly available resources, and partnerships with colleges and universities. We provide extensive expertise on data strategy, IPEDS, institutional research and student success to drive institutional effectiveness.