Chapter

Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research

Volume 29 of the series Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research pp 467-533

Date:

Using IPEDS for Panel Analyses: Core Concepts, Data Challenges, and Empirical Applications

  • Ozan JaquetteAffiliated withEducational Policy Studies & Practice, College of Education, University of Arizona Email author 
  • , Edna E. ParraAffiliated withEducational Policy Studies & Practice, College of Education, University of Arizona

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Abstract

Responding to demands from policymakers, higher education researchers increasingly utilize econometric modeling techniques to evaluate policies. In particular, researchers have applied panel methods to panel datasets derived from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and its predecessor the Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS). Analyses may yield biased results when panel datasets are not properly constructed, potentially leading to misguided policy recommendations. This chapter provides guidance about how to create institution-level panel datasets that are appropriate for specific research questions. We first provide an overview of institution-level data sources. Second, we describe change over time in the HEGIS/IPEDS sampling universe and the unit of analysis (e.g., institution, campus) represented by each observation. Third, we discuss parent-child reporting, which occurs when institutions complete some IPEDS survey components (e.g., Completions) at the campus level and other survey components at the institution level. Parent-child reporting affects many empirical applications of IPEDS panel data and affects what research questions can be answered using premade panel data from the Delta Cost Project. Fourth, we discuss solutions to common data challenges. Finally, we discuss what kinds of research questions can be addressed using IPEDS data and data from the Delta Cost Project.