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Institutional Data Archive on American Higher Education, 1970-2011 (ICPSR 34874)

Principal Investigator(s):


The Institutional Data Archive on American Higher Education (IDA) contains academic data on 384 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The IDA is one of two databases produced by the Colleges and Universities 2000 project based at the University of California, Riverside. This release, the third compilation of the IDA, is updated through academic year 2010-2011, and includes longitudinal and cross-sectional data from multiple sources. The collection is organized into nine datasets based on the unit of analysis and whether identifiers linking the data to particular institutions are present; seven of the datasets can be linked by a common identifier variable (PROJ_ID), and two cannot be linked due to confidentiality agreements. The seven identifiable datasets contain information on institutions, university systems, programs and academic departments, earned degrees, graduate schools, medical schools, and institutional academic rankings over time. Data regarding student enrollments, average SAT and ACT scores, and tuition and fees has been recorded, as well as institutional information concerning libraries, research activity, revenue and expenditures, faculty salaries, and quality rankings for program faculty. The identifiable datasets also include census information for neighborhoods surrounding IDA colleges and universities. The two non-identifiable datasets contain confidential survey responses from IDA institution presidents, chancellors, provosts, and academic vice presidents; survey questions pertained to governance structures, institutional goals and achievements, and solicited opinions on current and future issues facing the respondent's institution and higher education in general.

Access Notes

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download these data.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Identifiable Institutional Level Data (Multiple Sources) - Download All Files (63 MB)
DS2:  Identifiable Institutional Level Aggregated Census Data (1990) - Download All Files (51.5 MB)
DS3:  Identifiable Institutional Level Aggregated Census Data (2000) - Download All Files (53.5 MB)
DS4:  Identifiable Program Level Data - Download All Files (51.5 MB)
DS5:  Identifiable System Level Data - Download All Files (49.6 MB)
DS6:  Identifiable Block-Group Level Census Data (1990) - Download All Files (72.1 MB)
DS7:  Identifiable Block-Group Level Census Data (2000) - Download All Files (82.7 MB)
DS8:  Non-Identifiable Survey of Presidents and Chancellors - Download All Files (56.9 MB)
DS9:  Non-Identifiable Survey of Provosts and Academic Vice Presidents - Download All Files (55.2 MB)

Study Description


Brint, Steven. Institutional Data Archive on American Higher Education, 1970-2011. ICPSR34874-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-12-03. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34874.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   academic degrees, academic disciplines, administrative costs, administrators, colleges, departments, earned degrees, education costs, education expenditures, educational change, educational programs, educational trends, funding, graduate schools, graduate students, grants, higher education, libraries, occupations, research, scholarships, school enrollments, students, tuition, undergraduate programs, universities

Smallest Geographic Unit:   census block-group

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1970--2011

Date of Collection:  

  • 2010

Unit of Observation:   institution, program, university system, census block-group, individual

Universe:   Four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities in the United States.

Data Types:   administrative records data, aggregate data, census/enumeration data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Please see the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook for detailed information on the content and composition of each IDA dataset, including information on original dataset sources and variables.

The American College Catalog Study Database, 1975-2011 (ICPSR 34851), is a related data collection produced by the College and Universities 2000 project.

Additional information on the Institutional Data Archive (IDA) database and the American College Catalog Study Database (CCS) can be found on the Colleges and Universities 2000 Web site.


Study Purpose:   The IDA was created to allow researchers to take advantage of the large volume of data on higher education, which is spread across many separate datasets. The purpose of the study is to investigate patterns of continuity and change in American four-year colleges and universities from 1970 to 2011.

Study Design:   Depending on the dataset, the unit of analysis is an institution, a program located within a school, a university system (e.g., the University of California), a census block-group, or an individual. The unit of analysis is as follows for each of the 9 datasets in this collection: the institution for datasets 1, 2, and 3 (n=384 institutions); the program for dataset 4 (n=2478 programs); the university system for dataset 5 (n=7 university systems); the census block-group for datasets 6 and 7 (n= 7163 census block-groups, and n=4875 census block-groups, respectively); and the individual for datasets 8 and 9 (n=384 administrative leaders for each dataset).

Sample:   The sample of 384 institutions is based on stratified random sampling to over-sample selective colleges and universities and research universities. The sample includes all highly selective colleges and leading research universities in the United States (n=72). It also includes more than 100 institutions from each of the three other tiers. These three other tiers are: other selective colleges and research universities (tier 2); Carnegie 1994 Master's I institutions (tier 3); and non-selective baccalaureate-granting institutions, as well as Carnegie 1994 Master's II institutions (tier 4). For additional information on sampling, please see the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook.

Time Method:   Cross-sectional , Longitudinal

Weight:   The data are not weighted. Dataset 1, Identifiable Institutional Level Data (Multiple Sources), contains a weight variable (WEIGHT), which users may wish to apply during analysis. For additional information on weighting, please see the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook.

Mode of Data Collection:   mail questionnaire, mixed mode, web-based survey

Description of Variables:   The IDA datasets and variables contain data that have been collected from several source datasets. For a detailed description of each IDA dataset and the variables in this collection, please see the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  



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