About the data

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ICI brought together three data sources to create the GradFacts tool. The three data sources pertain to salary, debt, and industry.


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Abbreviations guide

  • Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
  • Commission for Higher Education Data Submission System (CHEDSS)
  • Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI)
  • Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE)
  • Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) 
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

ICI institutions included

  • Ancilla College
  • Anderson University
  • Butler University
  • Earlham College
  • Franklin College
  • Grace College
  • Hanover College
  • Holy Cross College
  • Indiana Institute of Technology
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Manchester University
  • Martin University
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
  • Trine University
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Saint Francis
  • Valparaiso University
  • Wabash College


ICI partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) initiative to connect alumni data to Census’s Jobs Database. The Jobs Database includes information on 96% of employment in the U.S.

To begin this process, ICI student-level graduate data is annually submitted to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) through the Commission for Higher Education Data Submission System (CHEDSS). For member colleges signing a Census PSEO MOU, ICI requested that ICHE send the U.S. Census Bureau the alumni data already at ICHE. 

Once the data arrived at Census, graduates were matched with Census employment records to generate median salaries by major 1, 5, and 10 years post-graduation. For detailed information on the salary data produced by Census, please visit their “Help and Documentation” site here.

Based on data availability, graduates from 2012 to 2018 were sent from ICHE to Census. This timeframe limits the post-graduate years on which salary information is available.

  • The 1-year post graduation salaries include graduates from 2012 to 2018. Master’s salaries include only 2012 to 2015 graduates.
  • The 5-year post-graduation salaries include graduates from 2012 only.
  • No 10-year salary data is available yet.

When examining graduate outcomes by academic major, decisions need to be made about the level of specificity of the academic major.  For example, are you going to report the median salary of graduates at the more general “computer and information sciences” major level or report the median salary at the more specialized “computer software and media applications” major level?

ICI chose to report median salaries at the more specialized level (4-digit CIP) to give consumers nuanced program data. The one exception is majors at the master’s level. Census provides master’s level median salaries only at the more general major level (2-digit CIP). Therefore, master’s level salaries are reported on GradFacts at a more general level than majors at other degree levels. Additional information about the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) system can be found here.

Like the Census Bureau’s visualization tool, salaries on the ICI GradFacts tool are in 2019 dollars.


To contrast ICI graduates’ salaries with their college costs, we put median debt data alongside median salary data.

To determine median debt by major, we used the Department of Education’s College Scorecard dataset (for 2016 to 2018 graduates).  Median debt was matched with median salary for the same major at the same college.  Debt amounts include only federal student loans; private loans are not included.

If debt data does not show up for a particular major in the GradFacts tool, the major alumni should not be assumed to have graduated debt-free. To protect privacy, the Department of Education did not provide debt data for academic majors graduating less than 19 students from 2016 to 2018. Therefore, majors with relatively low graduate counts from 2016 to 2018 will not have median debt data on GradFacts.

Debt data is available for academic programs at various degree levels (e.g., bachelor’s, doctoral) on GradFacts. One notable exception is master’s level programs. The Department of Education College Scorecard provides debt data at the granular major level (4-digit CIP) (see “Salary” section for a discussion of major specificity). Unlike other degree levels, Census provides master’s level salary data only at the 2-digit CIP level. Therefore, based on a lack of exact master’s major matching between the Ed debt and Census salary data, no debt data is listed next to master’s program salaries.  

When scrolling over median salary and loan bars, a “Monthly Median Loan (interest adjusted)” amount appears. The amount is based on the median loan plus 4% interest divided by 120 months (10 year repayment period). Information on current federal student loan interest rates can be found here.


Along with salary data, the U.S. Census Bureau provided industry of employment data by graduate major.   The major-to-industry data can be further disaggregated by the region of the country in which students work.  The industry and region of the country information was generated using the same process described in the “Salary” section: ICI college alumni records were connected to Census’s Jobs Database.

Unlike most majors on the salary interface, majors in the industry interface are presented at the more general major level (2-digit CIP). For a discussion of the difference between broader and more specific majors, please refer to the “Salary” section.

Industries are grouped using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). NAICS data is presented at the 2-digit “Sector” level. Further details on how the industry data is generated can be found at Census’s PSEO Help and Documentation site.