/ Frost Center for Data and Research

Data Requests

Institutional data are Hope College assets.

Our goal is identifying these information needs and providing them proactively so questions can be answered using interactive fact books, longitudinal data sets and other Hope College web-based resources.

Institutional Research staff lead data stewardship to assure quality, consistency and accuracy across these data. All aggregate data submitted to agencies and organizations outside of Hope College are submitted, or reviewed prior to submission, by Institutional Research staff. Our campus databases organize institutional data from platforms across the campus and are more reliable and consistent than any individual department can maintain on their own. Institutional Research accesses and provides these data using best practices.

When there is a data need that cannot be answered using existing online resources, Institutional Research works collaboratively with the Registrar’s Office and CIT to respond. This work begins when we receive the Data Request. Using the form helps us track requests and provide timely responses. Staff in our offices are happy to talk with you by phone or email, but please know that the Data Request is needed before we begin locating your data. Let us help you find the data you need by completing this online form.

Approved by Institutional Research – Frost Center, Registrar’s Office, and Computing and Information Technology April 23, 2020

How We Report Data

Hope College data are available from two points in each semester: Census Day and End of Term.

Census Day for each term is the first Monday following the last day to drop or add a full-term class. Across higher education, census day data are the primary source for both internal and external purposes, providing a consistent set of student and college data year over year. Census data are used for government and accreditation reporting, the College Scorecard and college rankings. To assure consistency we provide data internally in this same way.

End of Term data are captured eight weeks after the last day of the semester. End of term student data have limited use, but can be a source for course completion and grade data specific to one semester. Aggregate Grade Point Average (GPA) is provided based on census day, not end of term.

There are times when data are needed for a complete year (multiple academic terms). Annual data are provided by academic and fiscal year, not calendar year. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics defines the academic year as July 1–June 30 and this is what is used for Hope’s annual reporting.

Using a data point other than Census Day or End of Term is rare and this exception will be made by Institutional Research staff or the Registrar or Registrar’s appointee on a case by case basis.

Individual Student Data

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to some categories of Hope student data. Data is also subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For these and other reasons, student data is reported in the aggregate so no individual student can be identified.

There are times, however, when faculty or staff members need FERPA protected individual student data, for example, to determine membership in an honor society or eligibility to participate in an off-campus program. This information may be available directly to an academic department chair through Banner Lite (B-Lite). If not, requests for data specific to a student should be made using the Data Request Form. These requests will be reviewed and approved by the Registrar or Registrar’s designee.

Data Definitions
Hope College data are organized using a common set of data definitions. The core of these definitions, found in the Hope College Data Dictionary, are from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics: commonly referred to as IPEDS definitions. Data will always be organized and provided using these definitions to ensure consistency and accuracy.
Data Requests Received

Frost Center coordinates requests for Hope College data, working closely with our colleagues in the Registrar's Office and CIT.  

In the academic year 2022–23 our office coordinated 292 individual requests with 295 specific instances of data type.

Number of Data requests by type:

  • 74 — Aggregate student data: including demographics, ethnicity and graduates
  • 174 – Data specific to one student or a group of individual students: including identification of students qualifying for membership in honor societies, specific course lists and lists of students in groups and clubs
  • 7 — Email lists
  • 40 — Other