I noticed that the data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) contains important information that the CollegeScorecard dataset does not. I noticed this because I was looking at the average faculty salary in the data dictionary which states,

Average faculty salary: Average faculty salary per month, calculated from the IPEDS Human Resources component. This metric is calculated as the total salary outlays divided by the number of months worked for all full-time nonmedical instructional staff. Prior to the 2011-12 academic year, when months worked were reported in groups, the value for 9-10 months is estimated as 9.5 months and the value for 11-12 months is estimated as 11.5 months. Values prior to the 2003-04 academic year are limited to degree-granting institutions for consistency with values in subsequent academic years.

Since that description is a bit confusing, I wanted to calculate "the total salary outlays divided by the number of months worked for all full-time nonmedical instructional staff" myself to double check the numbers, but there is no column in the CollegeScorecard for "the total salary outlays." However, in the Delta Cost Project dataset there IS a column "salarytotal" which is described as "Total salary outlays of full-time instructional faculty".

I also noticed other columns which are in the Delta Cost Project database but are missing from the CollegeScorecard, for example the total assets. They are both public datasets provided by NCES, so I'm a little confused why some data has been added and other data removed. Furthermore, the Delta Cost Project goes back to 1987, whereas the CollegeScorecard data only goes back to 1996.

Can someone help explain (a) how to properly backwards calculate yearly faculty salary (I'm assuming I just multiply by 9.5? Then what about the 11.5 months part?) (b) Who should I contact about getting this data into the CollegeScorecard dataset since I believe there is important data missing (that they already have)?

  • "who should i contact?"....did you scroll to the bottom of the page where it says "Contact Us"?
    – albert
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 6:57
  • [email protected]
    – albert
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


In order to make sure you are getting comparable data for the salaries, it might be best to use the IPEDS data (since that is where those data elements originated). The IPEDS Data Center (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/Home/UseTheData) will allow you to access and export salary data going back at least as far as 1980. There is a data center help desk ([email protected]) that can be contacted if assistance is needed accessing those data. While the College Scorecard does not include Delta Cost project data, the College Scorecard help desk has received and logged this suggestion for consideration.

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