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Institutional Assessment

In addition to assessing student learning, the institution has a broad array of ways in which it assesses its overall institutional effectiveness.

Academic Data Reference Book

The Academic Data Reference Book (ADRB) is published annually by the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment. Its goal is to provide the university community with reliable and useful information and is comprised of six sections: student enrollment, incoming degree students, retention and graduation, degrees conferred, course enrollment, and faculty and staff.

Common Data Set

AU participates in the Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative, developed as a standard way for colleges, universities, vocational/technical, and graduate schools to self-report common or comparable data regarded as important for prospective students.

Common Data Set Sections: A. General Information; B. Enrollment and Persistence; C. Freshmen Admission; D: Transfer Admission; E. Academic Offerings and Policies; F. Student Life; G. Annual Expenses; I. Instructional Faculty and Class Size; J. Degrees Conferred

Access AU's 2022-23 Common Data Set (PDF).

MicroStrategy (Business Intelligence)

AU uses the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence tool to analyze trends, perform forecasting, create scorecards and dashboards, and deliver timely information to users.

To access common data reports, authorized users can visit the following sources (AU login required): 


The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a postsecondary education data collection program. The IPEDS Data Feedback Report is intended to provide institutions a context for examining and comparing data they submitted to IPEDS with data from a comparison group of institutions.

Access AU's 2022 IPEDS Data Feedback Report (PDF).

College Navigator

College Navigator is a database containing specific information from about 7,000 universities nation-wide and is primarily sourced from IPEDS. College Navigator is a tool designed to help prospective college students and their parents distinguish the differences between universities and to assess the costs in attending these universities.

College Scorecard

The College Scorecard is another a source of federal comparative data.

Peer Institutions

AU does not have one list of peer institutions. The lists of institutions below is used by OIRA for a variety of institutional benchmarking comparisons. These lists may vary or other lists may be used depending on the purpose of the comparative data analysis needed.

  • Peer Institutions Group 1 — This peer group is comprised of undergraduate market basket institutions from AU's 2023-2024 budget report.
Boston College Johns Hopkins University
Boston University Lafayette College
Brandeis University Lehigh University
Bucknell University New York University
Carnegie Mellon University Northeastern University
Case Western Reserve University Syracuse University
Colgate University Tufts University
College of the Holy Cross Tulane University
Emory University University of Miami
Fordham University University of Rochester
George Washington University Vanderbilt University
Georgetown University Washington University in St. Louis
  • Peer Institutions Group 2 — This peer group is comprised of institutions with similar Carnegie Classification characteristics as AU. All are classified as private not-for-profit doctoral universities with high research activity (R2).
Azusa Pacific University Mercer University
Brigham Young University Nova Southeastern University
Chapman University Rochester Institute of Technology
Claremont Graduate University Saint Louis University
Clark Atlanta University Seton Hall University
Clark University Southern Methodist University
Clarkson University Stevens Institute of Technology
Creighton University Teachers College at Columbia University
DePaul University Texas Christian University
Duquesne University The Catholic University of America
Florida Institute of Technology The New School
Fordham University Thomas Jefferson University
Howard University University of Dayton
Illinois Institute of Technology University of New England
Lehigh University University of San Diego
Loma Linda University University of Tulsa
Long Island University Villanova University
Loyola Marymount University Wake Forest University
Loyola University Chicago Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Marquette University  

For more information on Office of Institutional Research and Assessment's comprehensive survey program, or if you are interested in surveying members of the AU community please visit OIRA Survey Research.

Although OIRA has always played a role in institutional accreditation, providing required annual reports and supporting institutional self-study efforts, responsibilities in these areas have expanded significantly. In 1995-1996, OIRA provided a co-chair for the NCAA certification effort. In 1996-97, OIRA assumed a leadership role in developing the required follow-up report and managed a campus visit for the Middle States Association's Commission on Higher Education. In 1997-98 OIRA facilitated the required accreditation/affiliation process of the United Methodist Church's University Senate. OIRA had major responsibilities for the Middle State's reaccreditation that occurred in 2004, and a leadership role in the 2009 Periodic Review Report, and again in the most recent reaccreditation in 2014. For more, visit Middle States Self-Study.

OIRA also works with schools/colleges and departments which are undergoing disciplinary accreditation, providing data and information as required. Information about accreditation for schools and programs can be found at the Consumer Information page.