Delta Cost Project Data
The Delta Cost Project makes data available in a number of different formats. The database that AIR uses to analyze trends and to produce reports and briefs can be accessed from the National Center for Education Statistics at http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/deltacostproject/.
In addition, AIR, along with Xcalibur, provides an interactive web-based data system that gives higher education stakeholders easy access to information on finance, performance, and enrollments for individual institutions, groups of institutions, or the nation. This can be accessed at http://www.tcs-online.org/Home.aspx.
Other Relevant Research
Adding it Up, from the Making Opportunity Affordable. This publication identifies state-level indicators of the degree attainment gaps that need to be closed to meet future needs for international economic competitiveness and workforce needs.
American Association of University Professors (AAUP), survey of faculty salaries. AAUP conducts an annual survey of compensation for faculty and senior administrators. Their “Data on Demand” may be purchased to allow peer comparisons.
The Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Initiative in College Costs. The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is a national membership organization dedicated to promoting best practices among college and university governing boards. Its initiative on college costs is designed to strengthen governing board capacity to oversee college costs. The work includes presentations of white papers; surveys of board practices in overseeing costs; and piloting of metrics to enhance board engagement with costs in a manner consistent with the board’s roles and responsibilities.
Center for College Affordability and Productivity, an independent non-profit policy research center focused on higher education productivity. In addition to periodic research reports, the site features an almost daily blog by Richard Vedder, President of the Center.
College and University Personnel Association (CUPA), survey of administrative compensation.
Congressional Commission on College Costs, Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices.This report of the 1997 Congressionally mandated commission on college costs summarizes the findings of the Commission about the relation between college costs and tuition; factors driving increases in tuition; and the relation between federal financial aid and tuition increases. The report includes recommendations for future action to control the growth in college costs, including: improve accountability for costs, reducing in unnecessary regulation, improvements in academic accreditation, and simplification of the federal financial aid system. The report is available from the American Council on Education.
Council for Aid to Education (CAE) has conducted an annual survey of private giving to higher education and private K-12 for fifty years. The survey results are available to the public; the most recent report in February of 2008 shows that private contributions have increased an average of 6.5% per year for the past ten years. In 2007, the survey shows that 30% of total private giving accrued to just 20 institutions of higher education, led by Stanford, Harvard and the University of Southern California.
The Delaware Study of Instructional Productivity is a national private voluntary effort to document instructional costs and credit hour productivity for a group of 300 public and private four-year colleges and universities. Summary reports are available to the public on measures such as direct instructional expenditures per credit hour, undergraduate credit hours taught by full-time/tenure-track faculty members, and differences in direct costs of undergraduate instruction by discipline level. Participating institutions also receive confidential information allowing them to benchmark instructional costs against comparison institutions.
Difficult Dialogues, Rewarding Solutions (PDF). Report of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s November 2008 policy summit: this report summarizes the dialogue process, outlines the key themes, and provides a list of ideas and strategies generated by participants for advancing college access and success in an era of constrained resources.
Education Sector. The Education Sector is an independent non-profit policy research center, interested in innovative practices to stimulate educational reform across the P-20 pipeline.
Hitting Home (PDF), from the Making Opportunity Affordable initiative. Summarizes research on the need to increase college access and degree attainment in a fiscal climate that makes business-as-usual funding models increasingly untenable. Calls for initiatives to address college cost containment by reducing unnecessary spending, and targeting resources to areas most likely to increase college access and success.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy. The Institute for Higher Education Policy has published a number of reports on the topic of college costs, financial aid, and cost management. See, for instance, reports on higher education cost measurement (PDF), and “Cost Price and Public Policy” (PDF).
Jobs for the Future – Lumina Foundation – Making Opportunity Affordable. Making Opportunity Affordable is a multi-year initiative focused on increasing productivity within U.S. higher education, particularly at public colleges and universities. The aim is to use dollars invested by students, parents and taxpayers to graduate more students. The initiative, supported by Lumina Foundation for Education, relies on partner organizations working within various states to develop, promote and implement policies and practices that will help achieve this goal.. It is managed by Jobs for the Future, and primary partner organizations include the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; the Delta Cost Project; the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education; the State Higher Education Executive Officers; the National Association of System Heads, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
The Kansas Study of Instructional Productivity is a national private voluntary effort to document instructional costs and productivity within public community colleges. Participating institutions receive confidential data based on submissions of information about spending in relation to student credit hours, by discipline, as well as credit hour production by discipline for full-time as contrasted to part time faculty. In 2007, 64 public community colleges participated in the survey.
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.
National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a national membership organization primarily comprised of college and university business and finance officers. It maintains a regular program of continuing professional education to its members on a wide range of issues related to cost measurement and management. It was the primary sponsor of a major effort in 2002 (NACUBO Cost of College Project) to develop a common methodology for use by any college or university to calculate the annual average cost of providing a single year of undergraduate education. NACUBO also conducts annual surveys of college endowments, and an annual survey of tuition discounting practices among private colleges and universities.
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) is the national authority on state performance in higher education. Their website, www.higheredinfo.org, contains a wealth of information about performance in higher education, and allows researchers and others to download performance data on a number of measures to make broad comparisons between states on factors such as academic preparation for college-level work; participation in higher education; affordability; learning; completion; benefits; and finance.
National Center on Education Statistics (NCES), Study of College Costs and Prices. Published in 2002, this follow-up study to the 1997 report of the Congressional Commission on College Costs document summarizes research on trends in college and university revenues and expenditures for the 1988-89 to 1995-96 period for private institutions, and 1988-99 to 1998-99 period for public institutions. The study examines the relationship between costs and prices, and the relation between federal financial aid and tuition. Volume II includes seven commissioned papers from expert authors about issues affecting college costs and prices, including David Breneman, Bruce Johnstone, Dennis Jones, Lucie Lapovsky, Michael McPherson and Morton Schapiro, Michael Middaugh, and Gordon Winston.
National Science Foundation WebCASPAR. The WebCASPAR database provides access to data focusing on science and engineering but also provides information on other fields in higher education. From the database's website users can create data tables from the following sources: selected IPEDS Survey Data and NSF Survey Data (Survey of Earned Doctorates; Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development; Survey of Federal S&E Support to Universities, Colleges and Nonprofit Institutions; Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges; and NSF-NIH Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E).
Squeeze Play (PDF), from the Making Opportunity Affordable initiative. This publication describes opinion research on public perceptions about higher education. The publication includes trend data compiled by Public Agenda in conjunction with the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education showing eroding public confidence in higher education as a result of concerns about declining affordability and rising college costs.
Williams Project on Economics of Higher Education (WPEHE), funded by the Mellon Foundation since 1989, is one of the most durable ongoing programs for research in the economics of higher education. Their research includes over seventy papers on aspects of higher education finance, including many authored by the Project Director Gordon Winston, whose research on price competition among elite colleges, on metrics for calculating costs of capital finance, and on explaining cost, price and subsidy relationships have been widely cited and used by both researchers and policy makers.