Attachment 102: IPEDS Data and College Identification Codes

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997 Cohort

Attachment 102: IPEDS Data and College Identification Codes

During the interview, respondents report the name and location of each college they have attended. Information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is then merged with the name and address of the youth's college to provide users with a code identifying the school (GEO69) and its location (GEO70). 

In round 1, no respondent reported more than one college, so GEO69 and GEO70 are the only variables available. The section of the round 2 questionnaire that collected schooling information was substantially revised, and all of the respondent's schools were listed on a school roster (see the Education section of the Topical Guide for more information).  Some respondents reported more than one postsecondary institution, so the GEO69 and GEO70 variables are repeated, with decimal extensions indicating the place of the school on the roster. For example, if a respondent's college is listed third on the roster, then the corresponding geocode variables are GEO69.03 and GEO70.03. Subsequent surveys collected data in the same way as the round 2 interview, so the variables are the same as round 2.

User Note

The IPEDS information is actually linked to colleges using two sets of codes:  FICE and UNITID. The FICE scheme gives each accredited institution of higher education a unique code, while the more inclusive UNITID system provides a unique number for all postsecondary institutions. In round 1, codes were assigned using the FICE coding system; in subsequent rounds, the coding system was changed to the more inclusive UNITID codes. Both coding systems are retained in the IPEDS database, so researchers will be able to identify the same characteristics of postsecondary schools regardless of round or coding system.

The IPEDS data file is maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); interested users can obtain a complete list of current FICE and UNITID codes from the NCES Web site, These codes can be used to associate the NLSY97 respondent's college with characteristics of the institution as reported by NCES. 

Some NLSY97 respondents have reported institutions which do not have FICE/UNITID codes. These schools have been assigned a code by survey staff. A list of these codes is included on the NLSY97 geocode CD.