THE COST STUDY
The National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity
What is The Cost Study?
The Cost Study is a discipline-level, comparative analysis of faculty teaching loads, direct instructional costs, and separately budgeted scholarly activity. Since 1995, the Study has allowed four-year, non-profit colleges and universities to answer important questions about their institution’s costs and productivity:
- How do the teaching loads of tenured faculty in your academic programs compare with national benchmarks?
- What proportion of undergraduate teaching at your institution is done by regular faculty, and how does that compare with other colleges and universities?
- Does it cost more to deliver a student credit hour of instruction at your institution than it does at your peers?
- How do externally funded research and service within your academic departments measure up against your competitors?
Who Participates in the Study?
Since the beginning of the study, nearly 700 four-year, non-profit colleges and universities, including:
- City University of New York (CUNY) System
- Connecticut State University System
- Members of Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE)
- Members of Southern Universities Group (SUG) Data Exchange
- Members of Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium
- University of North Carolina (UNC) System
- University of Nebraska System
- University of Missouri System
- Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
Click HERE to view a complete list of participating institutions by cycle year.
What Data Are Collected for the Study?
- Regular Faculty – Tenured/Tenure Eligible, Other Regular Faculty, Supplemental Faculty
- Teaching Assistants: Credit Bearing Courses and Non-Credit Bearing Courses
…IS TEACHING WHAT TO WHOM…
- Undergrad Lower and Upper Division SCH and Organized Class Sections
- Graduate SCH and Organized Class Sections
- Undergrad and Graduate Individualized Instruction SCH
- Online Undergraduate and Graduate SCH
…AND AT WHAT COST?
- Direct Expenditures for Instruction: Salary and Benefits
- Expenditures for Separately Budgeted Research Activities and Public Service Activities
What Analyses Are Offered to Participants?
- National Benchmarks by Carnegie Classification, highest degree offered, and percent undergrad.
- Additional comparisons for SUG and AAU schools.
- Custom Peer Analyses with self-selected or data-driven peer groups.
- Complete Institutional Report with Ratio tables.
Unique features of The Cost Study:
- Comparisons are made at the academic discipline level of analysis.
- Teaching workloads are analyzed by faculty type.
- Contains longitudinal data that allows you to track trend data over time.
- The Study methodology is regularly reviewed by the Higher Education Consortium Advisory Board.
- The Study has widespread national acceptance and use.