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University of Wisconsin Madison
Powered by Publics

Julia Michaels
Executive Director
Center for Public
University Transformation
(202) 478-6071

Media Contact:
Mike Brost
Associate Director
of Public Affairs

(202) 478-6038

Core Data Metrics

Data Submission

In pursuit of our goal to share key data, learning, and effective practices across the higher education sector, Powered by Publics is annually collecting institution-level data for eight measures that will contribute to the analysis of our collective progress in supporting student success for specific groups of students. These measures were identified in 2019 by a Data Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from a subset of Powered by Publics institutions with expertise in data and institutional research.

If your institution participates in the national Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP), you have the option to submit data through the PDP instead. Please designate APLU as a recipient in your data-sharing agreement and send a request to the CDM team at before August 1.

To submit data, please review the following items:

Image of Access the Portal Button
To designate your institutional Point of Contact gain who will receive credentials to access the Portal CLICK HERE. Access is based on your institutional IPEDS ID. Verify your IPEDS ID at College Navigator

View the 20-minute introductory webinar on the Core Data Metrics for 2021. Topics included: Resources, metrics, definitions, and an overview of the portal. View the slides here

In addition to the the introductory webinar, APLU is hosting two virtual check-in meetings: 

  • August 4 – Mid-collection check in
  • August 26 - Final check in
  • Click here to request the link for check in meetings

The Core Data Metrics (CDM) collection site will be open from July 1 to September 1, 2021. Due to COVID-19 and its impact on higher education, institutions that need extra time for this submission will be granted extra time. If extra time is needed, please send a request to

  • Value of Sharing Data
    The purpose of collecting these core data metrics is to highlight progress toward shared objectives and identify areas for improvement in student outcomes. APLU will use the data to monitor progress toward the completion and equity goals for each cluster, as well as evaluate how well we are meeting our overall objectives for Powered by Publics (PxP).

    The value of this data sharing for institutions is threefold.

    First, we cannot improve what we cannot measure. Evaluating these data annually will allow institutions to identify common gaps and areas for improvement which they can address in their cluster’s collaborative work. The data will also help APLU continuously assess progress and adapt as needed.

    Second, data-sharing is part of a shared commitment to transparency. As change-ready universities we acknowledge that if we are to bolster public trust in higher education, we must be honest with each other about our progress and hold ourselves accountable for outcomes. By sharing data with each other, we are more likely to identify pain points and solutions that can be shared with the broader public higher education community.

    Third, collection at this scale, across 130 universities and state systems, will allow APLU to amass a robust dataset in a timelier manner than existing systems. Having such a dataset will allow PxP institutions to monitor their progress as well as benchmark amongst themselves, particularly for student sub-groups of interest such as low-income and minority students.
  • Core Metrics
    Data from participating institutions will be shared within the cluster, across the clusters, and with APLU. Institutions will report on the following eight core data metrics (CDM):
    1. Undergraduate enrollment – Fall 2019
    2. Retention rates – Fall 2018 cohorts returning in 2019
    3. Bachelor’s degrees – 2018/2019
    4. Completion rates at the home institution after 6 years – Fall 2013 cohorts
    5. Completion rates at other institutions after 6 years – Fall 2013 cohorts
    6. Enrollment status at the home institution after 6 years – Fall 2013 cohorts
    7. Enrollment status at another institution after 6 years – Fall 2013 cohorts
    8. Status unknown after 6 years – Fall 2013 cohorts

    In order to examine data to identify potential areas of inequity for certain populations, each metric will be disaggregated for 15 subgroups:

    • Undergraduate total
    • First Time, Full Time
    • Transfer, Full Time
    • Male total
    • Female Total
    • American Indian or Alaska Native total
    • Asian total
    • Black or African American total
    • Hispanic total
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander total
    • White total
    • 2 or more races total
    • R/E Unkown total
    • Nonresident Alien total
    • Pell Recipients
  • Data Security
    While no student-level data is collected, the institution level data is collected and stored behind firewalls with access limited to APLU staff and contractors and PxP institutions. No institutional data will be shared outside of the PxP initiative. Reported data will be at the cluster level or for all 130 institutions.

Project Highlights

  • Nearly 125 change-ready universities and state systems
  • 16 transformation clusters
  • 3 million undergraduates

Project Goals

  • Produce hundreds of thousands more graduates by 2025 with an emphasis on underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students.
  • Cut in half the achievement gap by 2025 for underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students while increasing access.
  • Share key data, learning, and effective practices to drive innovation and transformation across the higher education sector.


Four strategic priorities guide Powered by Publics work. They are:

  1. Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color.
  2. Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
  3. Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of Affordability, Holistic Student Supports, and Teaching & Learning.
  4. APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.