Working with NCDLab is easy. Colleges provide standard data about prospective students (data that is readily accessible) and, in return, receive reports and data analysis to assist with decision making and long-term planning. These sources include:
- SAT score reports
- ACT score reports
- Data received from submissions to the National Student Clearinghouse
- Data available from the College Board’s Enrollment Planning Service
- Data available from the College Board’s Segment Analysis Service (Descriptor PLUS)
- The College Board Annual Survey of Colleges
- Data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from an annual survey by the National Center for Education Statistics
- The Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) containing data from the FAFSA and NSLDS
- Prospective student activity, communication and status data from the college’s ERP or student recruitment data system
All of these are standard and readily accessible sources of data that are not well used by most colleges. The data is submitted to NCDLAB in its standard format and it is imported into a secure data system optimized for statistical analysis. Student data is matched across data sources to build a complete picture of each prospective student. Data is managed in a highly-secure data center and student-identifying data is stripped from each data source and the research database.
From this data, NCDLab conducts research on better understanding student college choice and provides regular reports and white papers to institutions and the public. Reporting to institutions is focused on better understanding the students who are attracted to and successful at the college and providing monitoring for progress and changes. Institutions also have access to the resulting master set of prospective student data.