Research Publications


U.S. Department of EducationStudents reviewing data at the St. Bonaventure University School of Business.

The Annual Reports and Information group produces several reports each year that draw from over 25 surveys by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and other government agencies, thereby providing a comprehensive view of key issues facing the U.S. education system. Examples of reports include the following: 

  • The Condition of Education: An annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. 
  • The Digest of Education Statistics: A compilation of statistical information covering American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. Data are from government and private sources, drawing especially on the results of surveys and activities instituted by NCES.
  • Projections of Education Statistics:  National projections of enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures to the year 2024. In addition, the report includes state projections of public elementary and secondary school enrollment and public high school graduates.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a series of interrelated surveys conducted annually by NCES. The surveys gather information from every college, university, and technical/vocational institution participating in the federal student financial aid programs. Subjects include basic characteristics of institutions, enrollments, completions and completers, graduation rates and other outcome measures, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, student financial aid, admissions and academic libraries. Publications and products created from IPEDS data include First Looks, web tables, methodology reports, and digest tables.

Other Government Agencies

The U.S. Census Bureau provides information on a variety of educational topics, from attainment and enrollment to costs and financing. 
In its report Overview of the Relationship between Federal Student Aid and Increases in College Prices, the Congressional Research Service seeks to explain what is actually known about the relationship between student aid and prices. The report concludes that the body of research on the relationship between federal financial aid and college prices does not provide conclusive results in any direction. 
The U.S. Government Accountability Office report, Impact of Loan Limit Increases on College Prices Is Difficult to Discern, highlights the difficulty in determining a direct relationship - because of the confluence of many other factors - between increases in college prices and the loan limit increases.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics frequently releases data and reports on the relationship between education levels and employment outcomes.

Independent Organizations and Authors

Each year, the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) completes a survey on state-funded expenditures for postsecondary student financial aid
In their report Federal Financial Aid Policy and College Behavior, Robert B. Archibald, Ph.D., and David H. Feldman, Ph.D., find little evidence that increases in federal financial aid drive up college tuition, and that institutions rarely rely on federal aid as a rationale to give out less of their own institutional aid. The authors also explain rising college costs in their book Why Does College Costs So Much, arguing the trajectory is similar to cost behavior in many other industries.
The College Board produces a series of research reports and analyses each year designed to support policy discussions called Trends in Higher Education.
The Center on Education and the Workforce, an independent research and policy institute housed at Georgetown University, studies the link between education and workforce demands. Pieces include a look at employment opportunities by education level in Credentials and Competencies: Demonstrating the Economic Value of Postsecondary Education and a report on the mitigating effects of a college degree in tough economic times in The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm.
In Don’t Forget Private, Non-profit Colleges, Matthew M. Chingos, Ph.D., describes the important role private, non-profit colleges play in educational attainment and economic mobility.
Among other reports, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center looks at six-year completion rates for students who began postsecondary education in a particular fall as well as the typical time it takes to obtain a degree.
Surveys conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers document employment and salary outcomes for recent college graduates.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) projects the number of high school graduate for the next 15 years in Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates.
Books for purchase detailing a realistic perspective on the state of student debt include Sandy Baum’s Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing and Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt by Elizabeth "Beth" Akers, Ph.D.,  and Matthew M. Chingos, Ph.D.