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Institutional Research reports data to various organizations including the federal and state government. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) allows the federal government to collect data from all public and private schools. Having all schools follow the same reporting guidelines allows for easy comparisons. The state of Missouri collects information such as the number of first-time freshmen, where transfer students come from, which majors students get degrees in and how well students perform on national standardized tests.
IR also participates in several national surveys each year. Some surveys are interested in only one area, like the College and University Personnel Exchange survey of faculty salaries. By participating in the CUPA survey, schools have the ability to compare faculty salaries with those of similar schools across the nation. Other surveys, such as one by U.S. News and World Report, ask for various information about costs, student demographics and university offerings, in an attempt to rank Central Missouri among other regional universities.