New IPEDS Data: Top 20 online US institutions by sector

Update: The original version had incorrect totals for total enrollment including non-online students. I have removed those columns until I can verify that data. I apologize for the mistake and any confusion.

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) and its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) provide the most official data on colleges and universities in the United States. At long last they have started to include data fields for online education (technically distance education, the vast majority of which is online) starting with the preliminary data released through Fall 2012 term. Despite all of the talk about data and measuring online programs, we can only now start to get official information from a central source rather than relying on surveys or institutional data.

As an example, let’s look at the top 20 online programs (in terms of total number of students taking at least one online course) for various sectors. Some notes on the data:

  • I have combined the categories ‘students exclusively taking distance education courses’ and ‘students taking some but not all courses as distance education’ into ‘total students taking online courses’.
  • IPEDS tracks data based on the accredited body, which can differ for systems. For example, the University of Phoenix puts all of their online students into the Online Campus while DeVry, Kaplan and Heald assign their online students a home campus. I manually added the DeVry, Kaplan and Heald totals, but I’m sure there are other examples where the data should be combined.
  • I have not been able to set up WordPress to both show these tables in a usable format while also allowing copy / paste / sort, so for now these are images.

Public 2-Year Institutions – Fall 2012

Public 2-year


Private 2-Year Institutions – Fall 2012

Private 2-year

For-Profit 2-Year Institutions – Fall 2012

For-profit 2-year

Public 4-Year or Above Institutions – Fall 2012

Public 4-year

Private 4-Year or Above Institutions – Fall 2012

Private 4-year

For-Profit 4-Year or Above Institutions – Fall 2012

For-profit 4-year

This is great data which should support much better data analysis. Kudos to the Department of Education and NCES.

Share Button

Google+ Comments

About Phil Hill

Phil is a consultant and industry analyst covering the educational technology market primarily for higher education. He has written for e-Literate since Aug 2011. For a more complete biography, view his profile page.
This entry was posted in Ed Tech and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to New IPEDS Data: Top 20 online US institutions by sector

  1. But I don’t see a link to the actual data in NCES or IPEDs?

  2. Phil Hill says:

    It’s the Data Center tool, which acts as a wizard that allows you then to download the needed data. What I used was search by institution sector (public/private/for-profit for 2-year and 4-year), then included data for distance education (under enrollment).

  3. Pingback: Resource Roundup: Links from the Sandbox 01/08/2014 | IDeaS from the Sandbox

  4. Pingback: New IPEDS Data: Profile of online education in US / Fall 2012 |e-Literate

  5. Pingback: Clarification: No, there aren't 7.1 million students in US taking at least one online class |e-Literate

  6. Pingback: Stand Up and Be Counted | Top Education

Comments are closed.