I’m trying to compare my institution to the national averages as reported publicly. I can’t seem to replicate the National Median for average annual cost. When comparing institution type using the college score card tool, it looks as though two-year colleges and four year colleges have the same median. Does anyone have some insight on this?

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    Asked 2017-10-26 12:27:26Z, answered 2017-10-26 12:27:26Z… Please, create your FAQ on your own site. Oct 26, 2017 at 13:20
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    that and also answer the questions here tagged collegescorecard
    – albert
    Oct 26, 2017 at 15:00
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    Thanks for the flags - I won't close this as "spam" but happy to discuss on meta if anyone wants to make start post.
    – philshem
    Oct 26, 2017 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Median comparison values used in the College Scorecard consumer web tool as of the September 2017 data update are available here: https://github.com/RTICWDT/college-scorecard/issues/1448#issuecomment-339340734

These calculations are based on the set of institutions displayed on the College Scorecard consumer web tool. While a more complete set of data for all active Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Title IV non-administrative unit institutions are available on the Scorecard data webpage and API, the College Scorecard consumer web tool only displays profiles for currently operating degree-granting (excludes institutions that only award certificates to their undergraduates) institutions with undergraduate students.

The median comparison values are not specific to institution type, sector, award levels, or other subset of the universe.

Note that in calculating the median comparison values the IPEDS UnitID is the unit of analysis, however, for IPEDS institutions that share a 6-digit OPEID, all NSLDS and earnings data are aggregated at the OPEID level, and replicated across all institutions that share that 6-digit OPEID. These replicated (i.e. duplicated) values are included in calculation of the affected median values.
In addition, in the Scorecard consumer web tool, the pooled and/or suppressed versions of the variables (when applicable) are used in the calculation of the medians (e.g. median debt, repayment rates, and other variables with the suffix *_SUPP). The median comparison values used on the consumer web tool reflect these versions of applicable variables.

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