College Insight

Today, we updated College InSight (www.college-insight.org) – our unique web site for higher education research—with data for academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16, including new data from the Department of Education that were released just last month.

For eight years, College InSight has been an easy-to-use, consumer-friendly resource for anyone interested in analyzing issues related to college affordability, diversity, and student success. Whether you are a prospective student interested in the racial and ethnic diversity of colleges you’re considering, an institutional researcher curious about how your college’s institutional grant aid awarding compares with that of peer institutions, or a policymaker trying to better understand differences in costs and debt across different types of institutions or states, this database is a valuable resource to identify and highlight important trends in higher education.

College InSight includes rich data from over 12,000 U.S. colleges and universities and nearly 200 variables. Unlike other higher education data tools, College InSight features totals and averages for states, sectors, and other groupings of colleges. In addition to data from the Department of Education, this tool includes undergraduate financial aid data from the Common Data Set (CDS), such as financial need, institutional grants, and the cumulative debt of graduates.

So what can you do on College InSight? On the website, you have the option of browsing data in Spotlight, Topics, or Explore All Data.

In Spotlight, you can view a snapshot of selected variables for a selected college, state, or school type, and choose a relevant comparison. For example, the screenshot below shows a comparison between California State University, Sacramento and all public 4-year colleges in California. More variables and charts are available if you scroll down, and you can also change years.

In Topics, you can focus on particular issues in higher education, such as economic diversity, student success, and financial aid.

If you are a more sophisticated data user and want to compare multiple colleges, states, or types of schools, or choose from additional variables or years, you can use Explore All Data to build your own table. For example, this screenshot shows a comparison of various college costs for all public, 4-year colleges in California over time. You can download the data as a spreadsheet or save your results for sharing with others.

If you are a “super user” and wish to access more than 50 variables or data for more than 1,000 colleges, states, or sectors, you can even request the data file from us. It’s available for free, though we always appreciate finding out what folks are doing with it!

If you have any questions about the website or suggestions for improvement, please email us at collegeinsight@ticas.org. We welcome any feedback you may have, as we plan for a larger revamp of the site. 

Technical tip: If you have visited College InSight before, you may need to clear the cached images/files in your browser to make sure our updated site works properly.

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CIS Screenshot Today we are launching a unique new web site for higher education data and research. College InSight (www.college-insight.org) will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in college affordability, student debt, economic and racial diversity, student success, and other important issues in higher education. The site replaces and improves upon our previous campus-level data site, EconomicDiversity.org.

College InSight provides user-friendly profiles with detailed information for almost 5,000 U.S. colleges and universities, and aggregates data to create totals and averages for states, types of schools, and other groupings. Compare colleges, states, and more based on important issues:

  • Affordability: tuition and the total cost of attendance; how students cover costs through federal, state, and college grant aid, as well as student loans; average student debt levels; colleges' use of need- and merit-based aid.
  • Diversity: data on the racial and ethnic diversity of both students and faculty; indicators of student economic diversity, such as the percentage of undergraduates who received federal Pell Grants and the income distribution of students who applied for financial aid.
  • Student success: graduation rates and the number of degrees and certificates awarded.

Please check out the site, and use it to find information the next time you're looking for college-level data. We will be continually making improvements to the site, and welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Visit College InSight

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