The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (Department) program for the collection of Postsecondary education data. The annual request for information from the Department consists of seven surveys covering such topics as enrollments, staffing, degree completions and finances. Completion of the surveys is mandatory for all institutions that participate in any federal financial assistance program.
The data is used by entities such as the National Center for Education Statistics to produce various federal publications, The California Postsecondary Education Commission, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and US News and World Report's survey of U.S. Universities. In addition, IPEDS data is used to identify and compare peer institutions.
Although auxiliary organizations are a significant part of the CSU community and IPEDS does provide for the inclusion of auxiliary financial data in the finance survey, the CSU has traditionally not included this information. With the recent advancements made by the CSU in the breadth of its published consolidated financial statements, the system is now positioned to make a reporting change. Including the auxiliary financials in the IPEDS survey would state the true scope of the campuses' operations, thereby making CSU campuses comparable with other educational institutions in the nation.
REVISED REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The change to include auxiliary financial information in the IPEDS report will be handled in a phased manner due to the late timing of this change. Beginning in this fiscal year (98/99), campuses may provide auxiliary organization financials for inclusion in the IPEDS finance survey. (Preparation of the IPEDS reports will continue to be handled by the Chancellors Office.) For this current year, submittal of the auxiliary information to the detail required by IPEDS is voluntary. All auxiliary information historically collected to support the GAAP reporting will still be required.
Starting in fiscal year 99/2000, all campuses will need to submit auxiliary financial information for inclusion in IPEDS. The information is to be submitted electronically in FIRMS format
Attached is a spreadsheet format for the data required in IPEDS reporting. Preparation of the spreadsheet is based on the campuses' audited auxiliary financial statements. You will note that the level of detail required for IPEDS purposes is somewhat greater than that used to prepare the GAAP statements. The additional detail appears in bolded italics on the spreadsheet, i.e, Salaries & Wages etc. IPEDS instructions do permit the use of estimates where exact data does not exist, and it is acceptable to estimate the greater level of detail. However, the total in each category must tie to the GAAP statement.
Also note that a difference exists between the current method of reporting auxiliary data in FIRMS and the manner in which the data is prepared for IPEDS purposes. Currently, auxiliary FIRMS data is reported by auxiliary organization ID number (Sub Agency Code) whereas the IPEDS data is prepared by fund type.
A limited amount of data must still be submitted in FIRMS format in July before the GAAP audit is completed in order to meet CSU budget submittal deadlines - whether or not a campus elects to submit auxiliary information for IPEDS this year. In the July submission, each auxiliary organization will need to report just four line items (revenues-Federal, revenues-other, expenditures-Federal, and expenditures-other). Compared with current July reporting requirements, this will be a more simplified submission. (The current July submission contains a full set of financial data including the balance sheet items (i.e., assets, liabilities, and fund balance) and the details of revenues and expenditures at program level.) The November submissions for auxiliary information will be used for IPEDS (if detail is included) and other GAAP based reporting.
The goal is to submit the data in the same manner auxiliary data is currently reported at year-end through FIRMS. Although some campuses experienced problems in transmitting auxiliary data last year, the Corporate Information Management (CIM) department has made changes to simplify the process and will continue to consolidate data collection efforts. CIM will also assist campuses in solving transmission problems and if necessary, alternative means of submitting the data will be provided.