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Improving Data and Measures for Decision-Making about College Costs The Delta Cost Project Jane Wellman and Colleen Lenihan NCES/AIR National Summer Data Policy Institute June 24, 2010. Topics to cover . Context for the work; focus and audience

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Improving Data and Measures for Decision-Making about College Costs

The Delta Cost Project

Jane Wellman and Colleen Lenihan

NCES/AIR

National Summer Data Policy Institute

June 24, 2010

topics to cover
Topics to cover
  • Context for the work; focus and audience
  • Methodological challenges to measures of college costs
  • Developing a longitudinal data base
  • Focus on six metrics
  • Web-based data on TCS-online
  • State-level metrics
methodological issues w measuring college costs
Methodological issues w/measuring college costs
  • Data Sources: consistency and reliability; granularity
  • Issues that need to be resolved in developing cost metrics for comparative/longitudinal analysis
    • Institutional typology
    • Separating inputs from outputs
    • Unit of analysis: Student (FTE/Headcount); Faculty/staff, other (research outputs)
    • Assigning costs to functions
    • Separating instruction and research
methodological issues continued
Methodological issues… continued
  • Distributing shared costs for academic and institutional support, operations and maintenance
  • Treatment of scholarships, tuition ‘discounts’ and unfunded aid
  • Isolating costs of instruction by level of instruction (LD, UD, Graduate, Professional)
  • Isolating costs by discipline
  • Adjusting for inflation
  • Accounting for capital costs
  • Treatment of revenues from endowments and investments.
methodology determined by audience and data limitations
Methodology determined by audience and data limitations
  • For aggregate data on national trends, IPEDS data provides consistent and reliable source – but still needs work
  • Following Bowen, NCHEMS, Jenny, and others – standard cost-per student methodology
  • Operating expenses only
developing the database data sources
Developing the database: data sources
  • IPEDS, Academic years 1987 – 2008
    • Completions
    • Employees by Assigned Position
    • Enrollments
    • Faculty Salaries
    • Fall Staff
    • Finance
    • Institutional Characteristics
    • Student Financial Aid
  • FISAP 1998-2008
developing the database organizing the data
Developing the database: organizing the data
  • Reconciling revenue and expenditures across the various reporting standards
  • Carnegie classifications – Carnegie 2000 v. Carnegie 2005
  • Consistency in grouped/ungrouped data
  • Inflation adjustor CPI-U
  • All reported on per FTE student basis
developing the panels
Developing the panels
  • For any N-year set (5, 10, 20, and Trends) an institution needed to report the following elements in each year:
    • Instruction expenditures (instruction01)
    • Enrollment (fte_count)
    • Completions awarded (total_completions)
  • Imputations for missing data
  • Outliers removed
  • U.S. only
  • Resulting panel size/different years
composition of the panel
Composition of the panel
  • Public research universities- 152 institutions
  • Public master’s– 231 institutions
  • Public community colleges – 785 institutions
  • Private nonprofit research –100 institutions
  • Private nonprofit master’s – 317 institutions
  • Private nonprofit bachelor’s –471 institutions

Collectively more than 90 percent of all two and four year public and private non-profit institutions

primary focus on six metrics all cost adjusted using cpi u fte in 2008
Primary focus on six metrics(all cost adjusted using CPI-U/FTE in 2008 $)

1. Where the money comes from: revenues per student by major source

2. Where the money goes

  • E&R, E&G, total operating
  • Within E&R

3. Relation between tuition and spending increases

4. Cost/price/subsidy

5. Cost per degree

6. Costs v. enrollments

why these metrics
Why these metrics?
  • Can be developed with existing data
  • Can be aggregated to national, state, or institutional level
  • Organized to be relevant to policy-decisions made by legislatures, governing boards
    • Revenues
    • Tuition
    • Subsidy
    • Production
1 where the money comes from
1. Where the money comes from

Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, 1987-2008, 11-year matched set. Note: In private institutions, investment returns include unrealized gains/losses.

2 where the money goes how much goes to core academic educational programs
2. Where the money goesHow much goes to core academic/educational programs?

Education and related expenses (E&R)

  • Instruction, student services, and educational share of academic & institutional support and Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

Education and general expenses (E&G)

  • E&R plus sponsored research, public service, and net scholarships/fellowships

Total operating expenses

  • All of the above plus auxiliary enterprises, independent operations, hospitals, and “other”
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*Note: In 1998, public institutions reported gross scholarships and fellowships.

Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS Database, 1987-2008, 11-year matched set.

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2b. Average education and related (E&R) spending per FTE student, by component, at public institutions, 1998-2008 (in 2008 $).
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2c. Average education and related (E&R) spending per FTE student, by component, at private nonprofit institutions, 1998-2008 (in 2008 $).
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4. Cost/Price/Subsidy What proportion of E&R costs are paid by students, and what by the institution/state?
  • Cost: Average E&R spending per student
  • Price: Proportion of cost paid from net tuition revenues
  • Subsidy: Proportion of cost paid from institutional revenues (Cost less price)
5 spending per degree and completion ay1998 2008 in 2008
5: Spending per Degree and Completion, AY1998-2008 (in 2008 $)

Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS Database, 1987-2008, 11-year matched set.

5a definitions degrees completions
5a. Definitions: Degrees/Completions
  • Standard IPEDS category for many years
  • “Degrees” = all degrees, all levels and disciplines
  • “Completions” = all degrees plus any other ‘completion’ – diploma, certificate, etc. Most relevant for community colleges.

Degrees and Completions per 100 FTE students:

  • Different than “cohort” – aggregate measure of all degree/completion output per enrolled student
  • Captures CC transfers and other students who do not start as full-time freshmen
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5b: Total degrees and completions per 100 FTE students, AY1998-2008

Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS Database, 1987-2008, 11-year matched set.

delta cost project tcs online
Delta Cost Project TCS Online

Trends in College Spending (TCS) Online is a free, user-friendly, online data system www.tcs-online.org

TCS Online provides standardized reports for:

  • Focus and comparison institutions
  • Individual institution snapshots
  • U.S. Carnegie Group averages

Using DCP finance and performance metrics:

  • User-defined year selections and inflation adjustors
  • Dollar amounts per FTE student
  • Group means/medians
  • Percent change
  • Also includes enrollment data (by status, level, and race/ethnicity)

Various output options:

      • Single or multi-year
  • Tables and graphs (single year only)
  • Html, excel, and pdf
state fact sheets
State Fact Sheets

For public institutions only, state level data showing key DCP metrics from 2003-2008:

    • where the students are
    • cost/price/subsidy
    • student share of costs
    • instruction share of costs
    • completions per 100 FTE students
    • spending per completion
    • comparisons to national averages
  • Created to provide precise data at the institution and Carnegie classification level by untangling “parent-child” reported data, which is only possible in more recent years.
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For more information, visit the Delta Project website, at:

http://www.deltacostproject.org

http://www.tcs-online.org

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