Broad Questions

How can I update my institution’s classification?

The Universal Carnegie Classifications are released every three years, with the last release in December 2021. This classification is best viewed as a snapshot of the higher education landscape at that point in time. Between classification cycles, we will accept name changes only. Mergers, closures, and updated data will be reflected in the 2024 Carnegie Classifications.

When are the next Carnegie Classifications released?

The Universal Carnegie Classifications have been released on a 3-year cycle, and ACE plans to maintain that release schedule moving forward. Accordingly, the next Carnegie Classifications are planned for release in late 2024/early 2025, assuming federal data sets are available on similar timeframes as they have been historically. At that time, both the revised Basic classification and new Social and Economic Mobility classification will be released.

The next set of Elective classifications are also planned for release in 2024. Please see each Elective page for more information on exact timing.

Can I appeal our classification?

The Universal Carnegie Classifications are released every three years, with the last release in December 2021. While there was an appeal and correction period, that has now closed.

Ahead of the 2024 release, this website will include a timeline and process through which institutions can request updates, exceptions, or changes to their classification as well as the criteria upon which those requests may be considered. Past receipt of an exception or change is not a guarantee that an institution will receive an exception moving forward.

Where are the Carnegie rankings?

The Carnegie Classification is not a ranking of colleges and universities. Our classifications identify meaningful similarities and differences among institutions, but they do not imply quality differences.

Who are the classifications for?

From its inception, the Carnegie Classification’s purpose has been to assist those conducting research on higher education. Researchers need a way to reference the great diversity of colleges and universities in the United States, and classifications enable them to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions. The primary audience is the research community, including academic researchers and institutional research staff as well as other education analysts. By providing a set of distinct classifications as well as a set of online tools for creating custom listings (combining categories within classifications, identifying institutions in similar categories across classifications, or filtering listings by selected criteria), researchers now have much greater analytic flexibility, allowing them to match classification tools to their needs.

What institutions are included?

All Title IV eligible, degree-granting colleges and universities in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and the territories and commonwealths of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico represented in the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS system (as of the year the classification was issued and subject to the availability of required data) are eligible for inclusion in the Carnegie Classifications.

What data are used in the classifications?

The 2021 Classification update is based on the following data sources:

  • IPEDS 2019-20 Completions
  • IPEDS Fall 2020 Enrollment (preliminary)
  • IPEDS Fall 2020 Human Resources (preliminary file)
  • FY20 NSF Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey*
  • FY19 NSF Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering (GSS)**

The 2024 Classifications will likely include updated versions of these datasets along with additional information for determining institutions’ social and economic mobility.

How can I download a file with all institutions and classifications?

The Resources page has a complete spreadsheet file with all institutions and classifications, as well as most of the underlying data and IPEDS UNITIDs. The Resources page also includes information from previous editions of the Carnegie Classification.

Institution-Specific Questions

Why can't I find my institution?

If your institution might not be included if it was not Title IV eligible or otherwise did not report any degrees to IPEDS for the 2019-20 academic year.

I tried "Find Similar" from the institution display, but the result didn't show any other institutions. Why?

This is quite common if you are looking for similarity across most or all of the classifications. Because the classifications are highly disaggregated, the number of possible combinations across all of the classifications exceeds the total number of institutions. Try selecting fewer classifications or use the Institution Search filters to identify and combine categories of interest within each classification.

Why does the enrollment figure that is returned for my institution not appear to reflect our current enrollment?

The enrollment figure displayed is from Fall 2020, reflecting the enrollment that was current when the Classification was updated in 2021.

My institution has a new name/my institution's name is listed incorrectly. How can we get it changed?

Name changes: Please send an email to carnegie@acenet.edu containing a link to the official announcement of the name change on the institution’s website (please specify "name change" in the subject line), from an institutional email account. Please include a contact name and telephone number for confirmation.

Name corrections: Name corrections will only be accepted if (1) they come from the office of communications, public information, institutional research, or the chief executive officer; and (2) the requesting official’s full name, title, and contact information are clearly identified. Correction requests can be sent by email to carnegie@acenet.edu (please specify "name change" in the subject line). Email requests must be sent from an institutional email account.

If the institution’s name change has occurred as a result of a merger or other large-scale shift in organizational structure, it may not be addressed until the next classification update.

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