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Below are some of the more frequently asked questions concerning The Cost Study, how to submit data, select peers, how the results are used and more. For further information please refer to our Definitions and Calculations page or contact us at

Frequently asked questions on what information is needed and how to submit data to the study.
Assigning a Program CIP
My institution has a Department of Political Science and International Relations, which spans two CIP codes. Which one should I use?

If you can cleanly disaggregate both the faculty and the financial data associated with each respective CIP code, by all means do so. If you cannot make a clean disaggregation, use the CIP code which reflects the preponderance of student credit hours taught in the department.

FTE Faculty
What about faculty members whose loads are reduced and/or release time is granted for doing institutionally funded departmental research?

Each full time faculty member falling into this category appears as 1.0 FTE in both Column A and Column C. Since departmental funds are being used to support the salary, the decision to have these faculty do things other than teach is an institutional decision.

What about sabbatical leaves?

These are leaves with pay and, as such, reflect institutional decisions to allow individuals to do things other than instruction. They, too, should appear in both Columns A and C.

We know who is teaching our courses, but it’s not easy to make the additional disaggregation requested. What should we do?

If you cannot differentiate between student credit hours delivered in an organized class section and/or “individualized instruction student credit hours, assign all of the credit hours to the “Undergraduate Upper Division Student Credit Hour” column by faculty type. Similarly, if you can’t differentiate between “lower division” and “upper division” student credit hours, report all of those credit hours under “Undergraduate Upper Division Student Credit Hours.”. The same would be done with the OCS.

What do I do about dual listed and cross listed courses?

If you are unable to assign the SCH to the department of record for the instructor of the course then you would assign them to the program with the highest proportion of SCH as stated in the registration of the class. The same proportion would be done with the OCS.

Financial Information
Do the costs of the benefits only include what the University/state (we are a state university) pays or are benefits paid for by the faculty/staff member also included?

In the benefits calculation, please include the costs paid by the university/state. We do not address the cost of benefits paid by the individual faculty or staff members.

Some of the research expenditures involving departmental faculty on my campus are not booked to the department, but instead are booked to separate research centers. What should I do?

To the extent possible, we’d like for you to disaggregate research center expenditures to the appropriate departments. Where this is not possible, please attach a note to your data submission apprising us of the general magnitude of the problem on your campus. This will enable us to provide a context for the extent to which expenditure data may be under-reported within the overall study.

What information is required
We would like to get started gathering the required data for the study, what do we need?

Please see the attached chart of data for a breakdown of the required data.

Frequently asked questions on our new web portal.
Submitting Data
Will we be able to submit data in the old format?

We will no longer accept data in the Excel template, an Excel flat file or in an ASCII file.

Required Data
What information we will need for submission?

Please see the attached chart of data for a breakdown of the required data.

Submitting data in the Web Portal
Do we have to input our data directly into the portal one program at a time?

If you are new to the Delaware Cost Study, we ask that you add each program CIP being submitted to the study one at a time in order to create the portal page for that program. If you are returning to the study, your CIP’s are already populated in the portal, just verify the information on the program has not changed (i.e. CIP changed, program name changed, etc.) 

Once your programs are entered in the portal, you have the option to continue entering data by program, or you can compile your data in an Excel Fixed Column File and upload the data to the portal. Please see our Templates web page for instructions on how to populate the excel file.

Making corrections in the Portal
How do I correct data entry errors in the Web Portal?

As long as you haven’t clicked on the Submit to the Delaware Cost Study link on your home page, you can select Edit Form under the program you wish to correct. Once on the program page, make changes to the form, go to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Save”.

If you have submitted your data to us and have one or two corrections to make, please send the updates to us via email. If there are numerous data entry errors, contact our office and we will unlock your submission for data entry.

Common errors when uploading an Excel file
My Excel Fixed Column File will not upload, what should I do?

There are several reasons why the file will not upload, please check for the following:

1. Make sure all your CIP’s are listed and the program names in your fixed column file match what is in the portal. (i.e. 9.0100 Communications is in the portal but your file reads  9.01 and or Comm. the portal will not recognize the program.)

2. Check to make sure your data is in the correct column. (i.e. column A is the FICE Code, Column B is the program name and Column C is the CIP, if they are not in the correct order the portal will not recognize the file.)

3. Except for columns B and BM (they should contain text) all the data should be a value, there should be no formulas. If you use formulas to calculate some data, please remember to convert the formulas to values.

If you are still having issues uploading your file, please contact our office.

My password doesn't work, why?
There are two separate websites for the Delaware Cost Study. Prior to 2016 the results are stored on our old website, to date we do not have the capacity to move the historical data to our new web portal. Therefore the system of a new username and password per cycle of the study applies. If you participate in the study prior to 2016 and would like to view the results, please contact us for the username and password for that cycle of the study.

From 2016 and going forward, the username given to you will remain the same, only the password will change from cycle to cycle. This password will give you access to all the years after 2016 your institution participates in the study. For example, the password given to you for the 2016 study will expire one year after the results of the study were release. That means that the password issued to access the 2016 study will expire one year from July 2017 ( expires July 2018). If you have registered to participate in the 2017 study, your were given a new password, this password will expire one year from the release of the results, in July 2018 (expires July 2019). If you would like to access the 2016 study results and you are not participating in the 2017 study, please contact us for a new password, once it expires in July of 2018.

Frequently asked questions concerning the Delaware Cost Study results, how the data is used, best practices and the selection of peers.
Uses of the Results
How to utilize the national bench-marking data?

Compare your institutional data in Table 1-4 in the institutional report with the national norms in the category of  your institution’s Carnegie Classification, Highest Degree granted or Undergraduate Degree percentage. Graphic charts are available.

How to compare costs at college level?

Option 1: Compare at 2-digit CIP level. Option 2: select the CIPs in one college of your institution and request peers analyses from other institutions reporting those CIPs in your Carnegie Classification or other categories.

The National Norms
In Table 1A to 1E, the percentages from each faculty rank do not add up to 100%. Why?

It is an consequence of removing the outlier percentages in Table 1A-1E in each of the norm by faculty rank subsets. The percentages provided in the norm tables are the refined means with values outside two standard deviations removed. in any CIP where outliers occur, the sum of the percentages in table 1s and 2s will sum to less than 100%. In addition, when each percentage is computed there is a small amount of rounding error that may also contribute to the totals being less than 100%. 

In Table 3A to 3E, the SCHs from each faculty rank do not add up to 100%. Why?

It is an consequence of removing the outlier numbers in Table 3A-3E in each of the norm by faculty rank subsets. The numbers of SCHs provided in the norm tables are the refined means with values outside two standard deviations removed. In Table 3F, all FTE numbers and SCHs were added up respectively, creating new averaged norms. 

Peer Analysis
How to select peers for peer analysis?

We Do Not Select Your Peers. You can select at least 10 institutions as your peers from the list of our participants this year and fill the request form. Common criteria include Carnegie Classification, locations, control (independent or state), etc. Your own institution will not be included in your peer group unless you include yourself in the form.

I cannot find a CIP in the drop-down list for peer analysis on the website?

The CIP was reported by less than five institutions that participated in this year. Contact us if you would like to obtain data from those participating institutions for that CIP.

What are peer analysis results like?

1)Ratio 1-4 forms provide raw data from your institution ( marked with asterisks) and the selected peer institutions at CIP level. 

2) Table 1-4 provide means of the selected peer groups. 

What type of peer analysis will we receive?

There are currently three approaches to peer requests.

1)The national norms provide a sort  of peer request because the Carnegie classifications are based on criteria that provide an objective set of peers.

2)Because there is significant variation both within an institution’s disciplines and among the groups aggregated into three national norm types, many institutions request a specific list of at least ten participants for a custom refined means report that we provide from our office.You may request five of these each year as part of the fee for participation.

3)The third type of peer analysis is conducted as ‘self-service’ from a link on the peer analysis section of the results access home page.