About HEDS

HEDS is a community of colleges and universities committed to sharing data, knowledge, and expertise to advance undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence, and student success.

What is HEDS?

HEDS facilitates the exchange of data and professional knowledge among member institutions in an atmosphere of trust, collegiality, and assured confidentiality.

HEDS is an independent not-for-profit corporation that was formed in 1983 and is now located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

What is HEDS?

HEDS facilitates the exchange of data and professional knowledge among member institutions in an atmosphere of trust, collegiality, and assured confidentiality.

HEDS is an independent not-for-profit corporation that was formed in 1983 and is now located at the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

What kinds of data do HEDS institutions share?

HEDS collects and shares institutional data, public data sets, third-party survey data, and data from HEDS surveys. HEDS also sponsors opportunities for representatives from member institutions to collaborate on using data.

HEDS institutions can participate in these data sharing opportunities as a part of membership. Some of our current and upcoming data exchanges include:

  • Student Success Data – Starting in 2020, HEDS will collect, share, analyze, and report on data related to student retention and momentum towards degree.
  • NACE First-Destination Data – Also starting in 2020, HEDS will collect and share the employment and career outcomes for recent graduates that institutions report to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
  • Common Data Set (CDS) – HEDS collects and complies the same files member institutions submit to the Common Data Set Initiative.
  • AAUP Faculty Compensation – HEDS collects salary and benefits data from members that participate in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Compensation Survey.
  • Number of Deposits – HEDS collects first-year, transfer, and other student deposits on pre-set dates from May to August.
  • NACUBO Tuition Discounting Survey – HEDS collects tuition discounting data from members for the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ Tuition Discounting Survey.

The HEDS staff facilitates the collection, analyzing, formatting, and sharing of these data. For many of these exchanges, we create spreadsheets that allow members to easily generate custom comparison groups. 

HEDS administers several unique surveys:

Learn more about HEDS surveys here.
HEDS member institutions can participate in these surveys at a substantially lower cost than institutions that do not belong to HEDS ($500 versus $1,900).

HEDS also pulls data from publicly available sources and shares them with HEDS members in an interactive Microsoft Excel file that allows for customized comparisons. These comparison files include the following:

  • Baccalaureate Origins of Doctorates: The Excel file we create contains overall and discipline-specific data on the proportion of students from over 1,600 public and private institutions who go on to earn PhDs. We update this information every three years. The last update was in 2019–2020.
  • IPEDS: The Excel file we create contains data from a broad range of public and private institutions on: Endowment; Admissions, Enrollment, and Financial Aid; Retention and Student Life; Degrees, Graduation Rates, and Outcome Measures; and more.

HEDS member institutions also have the option of sharing individual- and institution-level data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR).  The HEDS staff will collect data directly from NSSE for the institutions that want to participate. In addition to sharing unit record data from the survey, HEDS creates a summary report on key data elements.

How do HEDS members collaborate?

The HEDS Consortium sponsors opportunities for representatives from member institutions to collaborate and learn from one another through the following:

The HEDS Annual Conference:

Focuses on assessment, institutional research, and institutional effectiveness at small colleges and universities. Conference sessions include presentations on almost any aspect of how people at institutions analyze and use data to advance their institution’s mission. Aside from good presentations, an important part of the Annual Conference is the chance for people from a wide variety of institutions to get together and talk. Learn more about the HEDS Annual Conference

An Active Listserv:

Promotes the exchange of data, techniques, and other useful information between representatives of HEDS institutions.

How do we ensure that HEDS institutions won’t disclose each other’s confidential data?

When institutions join HEDS, their representatives sign a statement agreeing that they will:

Use data from other institutions only for their own internal efforts to more fully enact their mission.
Only share these data discretely with audiences inside their institutions.
Not share these data with audiences outside of the consortium.