Static Page / Postsecondary Data Collections

Postsecondary Data Collections


The United States’ postsecondary data system includes several national data systems as well as voluntary data initiatives that collect information on postsecondary students and institutions. These data systems and initiatives have evolved over time and are reflective of the changing nature of data use and policy priorities in the American postsecondary system. 


  • IPEDS (The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) is one of the oldest, most comprehensive national datasets on institutions of higher education. 
  • NSC (National Student Clearinghouse) is a voluntary student-level data system that is used by the vast majority of institutions of higher education.
  • NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) is a collection of millions of records on student loan recipients, their enrollment, and aid received.  


In addition to government-run collections, many organizations collect data in an effort to guide federal, state, and institutional policy, conduct research and analysis, provide technical assistance and data tools, and communicate best practices. Visit each initiative’s website directly for their latest information: