External Reporting Tools

Below are links to databases and resources used extensively by postsecondary institutions, associations and governmental bodies to support higher education policy development, research, planning and decision-making activities.


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) - Collects, analyzes and makes available data related to education in the US and other nations.  The following tools are available to users to access data collected by NCES:

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) - The core postsecondary data collection program for NCES.
  • IPEDS Data Center - A tool designed to enable a user to compare a postsecondary institution of the user’s choice to a group of peer institutions which are also selected by the user.
  • College Navigator - Information on nearly 7,000 colleges and universities in the US.
  • DataLab - Provides access to a wide range of survey data collected by NCES.
  • NAEP Data Explorer - Create statistical tables, charts, and maps to explore the results of NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) assessments.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) compiles, analyzes and disseminates quantitative information about domestic and international resources devoted to science, engineering and technology.  The following tool is available to access data collected by NSF:

  • WebCASPAR - Provides access to a large body of statistical data resources for science and engineering (S&E) at U.S. academic institutions, as well as on non-S&E fields and higher education in general. 


Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) - A voluntary initiative for 4-year public colleges and universities that communicates information on the undergraduate student experience through a common web reporting template, the College Portrait.


Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching - An independent policy and research center with a primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education."  The Foundation established the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, widely used in the study of higher education as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.  The Carnegie Foundation website provides tools for looking up specific institutions, listing all institutions in a particular classification category, aggregating categories within a classification, and examining points of intersection across two or more classifications.