Peer Comparisons

Reviewing comparison data from sister and peer institutions is an essential component in evaluating WSU’s success in providing both a quality academic environment and appropriate student services for our students. Peer data comes from a variety of sources depending on how it is to be used. The links below contain information both about WSU’s standard peer groups, as well as sources for commonly requested peer comparison data.

WSU’s Peer Institutions


  • Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) College Portrait communicates information on the undergraduate student experience through a common web reporting template. VSA is a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is the core postsecondary education data collection program for the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). It is a single, comprehensive system designed to encompass all institutions and educational organizations whose primary purpose is to provide postsecondary education.
  • IPEDS Data Center allows comparisons between a focus institution and comparison institutions. Data are available only from the latest IPEDS data collection year, and results are simple and streamlined. Individuals that need access to more data should use the Peer Analysis System.
  • The Federal Student Aid Data Center is a centralized source for information relating to the federal financial assistance programs.  The information available in the Data Center is divided into three categories: Student Aid Data; School Data; and Federal Family Educational Loan Program Lender and Guaranty Agency Reports.


  • Research and Planning, an office within the Division of Academic & Student Affairs, provides a variety of strategic planning services at the system, regional, and institutional level for the system and its key partners.
  • MnSCU Accountability Dashboard monitors the performance of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system on selected key measures. It is designed as a tool for the Board of Trustees, institutions, policymakers and other visitors. The Board and system institutions use this information to improve our services to students and to the citizens of Minnesota.
  • Reporting and Data Services, dedicated to providing support to users of Management Reports, Operational Data, and Hyperion/BRIO, provides management and ad hoc reports to assist in management and policy decisions for the Board of Trustees, System Office, and institutional leaders.