Delta Cost Project Data
The Delta Cost Project makes data available in a number of different formats. The database that AIR uses to analyze trends and to produce reports and briefs can be accessed from the National Center for Education Statistics at http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/deltacostproject/.
In addition, AIR, along with Xcalibur, provides an interactive web-based data system that gives higher education stakeholders easy access to information on finance, performance, and enrollments for individual institutions, groups of institutions, or the nation. This can be accessed at http://www.tcs-online.org/Home.aspx.
Delta Cost Project measures of educational costs per student, student and subsidy shares, and performance
In the following state fact sheets, the Delta Cost Project has organized data on institutional spending and revenues into aggregate measures of costs per student and costs per degree/certificate produced. These measures have been developed using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to allow evaluation of changes over time, and to put information into context through comparison with patterns in other states or sectors. These metrics and fact sheets are likely to be most relevant to state policy makers who need to make decisions about issues such as funding adequacy, student tuition policies, and the relative cost effectiveness of existing investment patterns. The following measures are presented in the fact sheets per full-time equivalent (FTE) student and adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U); all fiscal data are displayed in 2009 dollars:
- Education and related (E&R) costs: includes all spending for instruction and student services, plus a portion of spending on academic and institutional support and for operations and maintenance of buildings. E&R spending is sometimes also called a "full cost of education" measure. It includes spending from all revenue sources, for all students including undergraduates, graduates and others, and all courses of instruction across types of disciplines, and thus represents average institutional spending across these sectors. Within any institution, there can be considerable variations in costs within this average, with lower spending on average for undergraduates than graduates, as well as considerable variation by discipline. (See the issue brief, Who Pays for Higher Education? Changing Patterns in Cost, Price and Subsidies (PDF) for more detail on these and the other measures.)
- Net tuition portion of E&R costs: is the amount of tuition revenues an institution takes in from students (including fees) net of all institutional grant aid provided
- Average subsidy portion of E&R costs:the difference between E&R expenses and net tuition revenue; this is the average dollar amount of E&R costs that is covered by institutional resources (primarily state funding at public institutions).
- Net tuition share of E&R costs: the percentage of E&R expenses that is paid, on average, from net tuition revenues; this measure is also commonly referred to as the "student share" of costs.
- Instruction share of E&R costs: the percentage of E&R expenses that is dedicated to instructional spending.
- Completions per 100 FTE Students: indicates how many completions (including degrees, certificates, and other formal awards) were produced for every 100 FTE students enrolled in the course of the academic year. This metric is not the same as the cohort graduation rate.
- Education and related spending per completion: an estimate of total education and related costs per completion, as contrasted to costs per student enrolled. It is calculated by summing the E&R costs for all students for a year, and dividing that by all degrees and certificates awarded in that year. Just as the average E&R cost per student figure does not distinguish between costs by level of student or discipline, the spending/completions figure does not distinguish between what is spent for different types of degrees and certificates awarded.
The IPEDS data used to create the factsheets come from the National Center for Education Statistics and has been organized into a database by the Delta Cost Project. The enrollment data presented in the factsheets are from the fall of academic year 2008-09.