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

Published: Dec 3, 2013

Principal Investigator(s):
Steven Brint, University of California-Riverside

Version V1

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.

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

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census block-group

1970 -- 2011


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.

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.

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).

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.



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



university system


census block-group

administrative records data

aggregate data

census/enumeration data

survey data

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.



2013-12-03 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.

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.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.