College Scorecard Data

Change Log

This page includes a description and timeline for the changes that have been made to either the College Scorecard tool or to the underlying data. Check back for updates to learn more about the updates and improvements we have made.

On May 21, 2019, the Department updated the College Scorecard website with the first installment of its annual refresh that includes newer, updated data for metrics derived from IPEDS and FSA data sources, such as cohort default rates. Changes to both the data files/API and the Scorecard website were made. Future installments of the 2019 refresh will include metrics derived from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and data from the Department of the Treasury on earnings after attending college.

In addition to updating existing metrics, key data changes include:

  • Institutions with limited Title IV participation (deferment-only institutions) were added to the API and downloadable data file for 2017_18. In addition, a variable indicating the Title IV eligibility status was added to identify these institutions.
  • Additional pooled, suppressed metrics derived from the IPEDS Outcome Measures component (percentages of students who completed an award at the institution, who were still enrolled at the institution, who transferred to another institution, and whose status was unknown) were added to the API and downloadable data files. These new metrics are aggregations of data already available in Scorecard, correspond to cohorts of all entering students, all full-time entering students, all part-time entering students, all first-time entering students, and all non-first-time entering students.
  • Information about the six largest programs of study at institutions following a program-based or continuous enrollment calendar system were added to the API and downloadable data files. These data identify the programs via CIP code and corresponding test description, indicate how long it typically takes (in months) to complete the full program, and provide program costs (tuition, fees, books, and other supplies).

In addition to incorporating the refreshed data, key consumer tool website changes include:

  • Expanding the universe of institutions to include 1) non-degree granting institutions and 2) institutions with limited Title IV participation (deferment-only institutions).
  • A table that details the cost and length of the largest programs offered for institutions following a program-based or continuous enrollment calendar display.
  • The Graduation & Retention section of the school profile now includes 8-year outcome measure data.

The data section provides a data file with preliminary cumulative loan debt data for college graduates by field of study.

On October 30, 2018, the Department updated the College Scorecard website with the third installment of its annual refresh that includes newer, updated data for metrics derived from the NSLDS. In addition to the updated NSLDS metrics, key changes include:

  • Pooled, suppressed versions of metrics derived from the IPEDS Outcome Measures component (percentages of students who completed an award at the institution, who were still enrolled at the institution, who transferred to another institution, and whose status was unknown) were added to the API and downloadable data files.
  • Pooled, suppressed versions of the retention and transfer rates were updated to reflect 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15, and 2013-14 data.

For more information about the College Scorecard data, click here to see our data documentation. You can also learn more about the data through our full Documentation Report and the Data Dictionary.

For those who want to understand more about ways to use the data, the 2015 Technical Paper offers an in-depth exploration of the data and methodologies considered and used for this project.