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Basic Methodology: Higher Education Dashboard

The following document outlines the methodology used for the Michigan Public University Higher Education Dashboard.

Data Source

All school data is from the government website for the Integrated Post-Secondary Data System (IPEDS). The website for IPEDS is IPEDS is the most reliable source for this work, as all schools that receive Title IV funding from the federal government must report information to IPEDS annually.

The data and information are pulled approximately two years after the most recent fiscal year shown in the dashboard. For example, for the current dashboard (FY 2014, labeled 2014), we pulled data in the spring of 2016.

Gathering Peer Schools

The directions to find the list of schools that fall into the six classifications of peer schools in Michigan, and the data used, are described below.

To begin, go to the IPEDS website and take the following steps:

  • Click on “Data Center”
  • Click on “Compare Individual Institutions” 
  • Under the Provisional Release Data, click “Use final release data,” and click “Continue”
  • When selecting institutions, select the item “By Groups” then click “EZ Group”
  • Under “State or other jurisdiction” select all 50 U.S. States (but do not include the territories or the District of Columbia)
  • Under “Sector” select “Public 4-year or above”
  • Under “Carnegie Classification 2010: Basic” select the following:
    • Research Universities (very high research activity)
    • Research Universities (high research activity)
    • Doctoral/Research Universities
    • Masters Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
    • Masters Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
    • Baccalaureate Colleges—diverse fields
  • Click the “Search” button and the list of schools will be shown on the page. These are the schools that will make up the six peer groups and Michigan’s 15 public universities. 

Selecting Data for Download

To select data related to this list of schools, click on “Select Variables” and include following variables:

  • Frequently used/derived variables
    • Fall enrollment/retention rates
      • Full-time equivalent enrollment
  • Fall Enrollment
    • Residence and migration of first-time freshmen
      • First-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students
        • Students from U.S. total
        • Students from each U.S. state
        • Students from outlying areas total
        • Students from foreign countries 
    • Retention rates, Entering Class and Student to faculty ratio
      • Full-time adjusted fall cohort from prior year
      • Students from prior year’s adjusted full-time fall cohort enrolled in current year
  • Human Resources
    • Full- and part-time staff by occupational category and race/ethnicity and gender
      • Instructional staff, primarily instruction total employees
      • Instructional staff, instruction/research/public service total employees
      • Management full-time employees
      • Management part-time employees
    • Full- and part-time medical and non-medical staff by faculty status and primary function/occupational activity
      • Primarily instructional total employees
      • Instruction combined with research/public service total employees
      • Executive/administrative and managerial full-time employees
      • Executive/administrative and managerial part-time employees
  • Salaries of full-time instructional staff
    • Average salary of full-time instructional staff total (All full-time instructional staff total, equated 9-month contract)
  • Number and salaries of full-time non-medical instructional staff
    • Average weighted monthly salary
  • Completions
    • Awards/degrees conferred by program (2010 CIP classification), award level, race/ethnicity, and gender—includes new race/ethnicity and award level categories
      • Associate, Bachelor, and all Advanced Degree Categories (first major only, degrees total)
      • Governor’s “Critical Skills” degree categories (first major only, degrees total, certificates below the baccalaureate total, certificates above the baccalaureate total) (list is available in the Glossary)
  • Graduation Rates 
    • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree/certificate-seeking subcohort (4-year institutions)
      • Adjusted cohort (revised cohort minus exclusions)
      • Completers of bachelor’s or equivalent degrees total (150% of normal time)
  • Student Charges
    • Combined tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, board and other expenses
      • Published in-state tuition and fees
      • Books and supplies
      • On campus, room and board
      • On campus, other expenses
      • Off campus (not with family), room and board
      • Off campus (not with family), other expenses
  • Student Financial Aid and Net Price
    • Financial aid to all undergraduate students
      • Total number of undergraduates-financial aid cohort
      • Number of undergraduates receiving Pell grants
    • Average net price for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students
      • Average net price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid
  • Finance 
    • Core Revenues
      • Tuition and fees revenues (F1B01)
      • State government appropriation revenues (F1B11)
      • Local government appropriation revenues (F1B12)
      • Federal operating grants and contracts (F1B02)
      • State operating grants and contracts (F1B03)
      • Local operating grants and contracts (F1B04)
      • Private operating grants and contracts (F1B04B)
      • Other operating sources (F1B08)
      • Federal appropriations (F1B10)
      • Federal nonoperating grants (F1B13)
      • State nonoperating grants (F1B14)
      • Local nonoperating grants (F1B15)
      • Gifts, including contributions from affiliated organizations (F1B16)
      • Investment income (F1B17)
      • Other nonoperating revenues (F1B18)
      • Total other revenues and additions (F1B24)
    • Core Expenditures
      • Instruction (F1C011)
      • Research (F1C021)
      • Public service (F1C031)
      • Academic support (F1C051)
      • Student services (F1C061)
      • Institutional support (F1C071)
      • Operation and maintenance of plant (F1C081)
      • Scholarships and fellowships expenses (F1C101)
      • Total other expenses and deductions (F1C141)
      • Total non-operating expenses and deductions (F1C181)
    • Salary and Benefit Expenditures
      • Total salary expenditures
      • Total fringe benefit expenditures
      • Hospital salary expenditures
      • Hospital fringe benefit expenditures
  • Data Analysis:

    All Data is reported as pulled from IPEDS. The changes and calculations that were made include:

    1. All financial information was inflated to 2016 U.S. Dollars using the CPI for each year from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We use the following CPI inflation factors to bring each year to 2016 equivalent U.S. dollars:

      FY 2004: 1.26062
      FY 2005: 1.21931
      FY 2006: 1.18121
      FY 2007: 1.14850
      FY 2008: 1.10603
      FY 2009: 1.10998
      FY 2010: 1.09207
      FY 2011: 1.05865
      FY 2012: 1.03719
      FY 2013: 1.02221
      FY 2014: 1.00590

    2. The functional categories for the core expenditures (e.g., instruction, research, public service, etc.) do not include depreciation, interest, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of plant. Instead, these expenses are included in “other core expenditures.” To calculate the expenses that are reported in the scorecard, subtract these values from the total expenses for the respective category.
    3. To calculate the total O&M, interest, and depreciation expenditures for the “other core expenditures,” sum the O&M, depreciation, and interest for each core category.
      “Salary and benefit expenditures” do not include salaries and benefits for hospitals. To calculate the expenses that are reported in the scorecard, subtract these values from the total salaries and benefits.
    4. “Salary and benefit expenditures” do not include salaries and benefits for hospitals. Make sure that you subtract these values from the total salaries and benefits.
    5. For all metrics that required division we use the students and faculty for the fall, but the financial data for the fiscal year (e.g., fall 2013 student or faculty data corresponded with FY 2014 expenditure data).
    6. FY 2009 is the last year that “total non-operating expenses and deductions” (F1C181) is reported as a separate category. For FY 2010 onward, this variable was not explicitly used in the calculation for “core expenditures.”
    7. The average salary for full-time instructional staff is reported as the average salary equated to 9-month contracts. To calculate this metric, multiply the average weighted monthly salary by nine.

    Average versus Median:

    We often chose to benchmark universities against the public peer median because it is a more sound measure of central tendency. Where a “U.S. Public Peer Average” is shown, it is a weighted average where we took the total of one component variable in the metric and divided by the total for the other component variable. For example, for U.S. Public Peer Average of “state appropriations per FTE student,” we took the sum of all appropriations divided by the sum of all FTE students. Please see the glossary for definition of terms. 

    Top 20% Calculation:

    For the U.S. Public Peer Top 20%, depending on whether the metric should be high or low, we used the 20th percentile or 80th percentile. For example, we want “state appropriations per FTE student” to be high, therefore the Top 20% are schools with the 80th percentile of the metric (meaning they have the highest).

    For questions or data needs, please contact:

    Traci Taylor
    Anderson Economic Group
    Senior Analyst
    Anderson Economic Group, LLC
    1555 Watertower Place, Suite 100
    Office: (517) 333-6984
    East Lansing | Chicago | Istanbul