June 2019: ASA NASFAA and NEA Reports Released

ASA is pleased to announce two new publications:

Feb. 2019: ASA Selected to Conduct Research for NCES, NASFAA


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC)

NCES has selected ASA to lead two NPEC reports for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): One on the Admissions survey component, and a second on the Institutional Characteristics component.  The purpose of these papers is to identify recent related trends, assess whether the components accurately reflect those  trends, and whether any changes are needed to current IPEDS survey instruments. ASA lead authors Abby Miller and Sue Clery will utilize mixed methods including data analysis, informational interviews, and environmental scans. ASA researchers authored previous NPEC-IPEDS papers on transfer, distance education, and certificates. The papers are used as background for Technical Review Panels to help determine changes needed to the surveys.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

NASFAA has selected ASA to conduct consumer testing of the U.S. Department of Education "Financing Sheet" (previously, the Shopping Sheet), a document aimed at simplifying and standardizing financial aid options for students. ASA is conducting focus groups with high school students, college students, and parents of high school students to help determine whether the proposed document is easy to understand, and how it can be improved. ASA researchers led previous consumer testing studies for NASFAA on the shopping sheet for undergraduate students and law school students.

Jan. 2019: ASA Serving as Data Partner for AASCU, Aspen Institute


AASCU Needs Analysis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Frontier Set Institutions

ASA is collaborating with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to synthesize data gleaned from institutional surveys, reflection memos, evaluations and assessments in an effort to identify the technical assistance needs of AASCU’s Frontier Set institutions.  The Frontier Set is a BMGF-funded initiative, supporting institutions committed to broad transformation and significantly increasing student success.  The goal of this analysis is to inform AASCU’s decision-making regarding institutions’ technical assistance needs and effective delivery methods.

ASA to Support AASCU’s Center for Student Success 

ASA has been selected as AASCU’s Center for Student Success data partner. To support the Center, ASA is implementing an online data management system to collect and manage student-level data and report on selected key indicators of student success. To kick-off the Center’s effort, ASA will begin with collecting data from six AASCU institutions during Spring 2019.  

ASA Serving as Data Partner for Aspen Institute’s Tackling Transfer Initiative

ASA has been chosen as the data partner for the Aspen Institute’s Tackling Transfer initiative, which focuses on  supporting students who start their academics at a community college through to Bachelor’s degree completion.  Data and measurement are at the core of this work as institutions assess baseline status and then set goals and monitor progress toward improved degree completion rates.

July 2018: ASA Selected as Evaluator for NCAN 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge

 ASA Research is pleased to announce that the National College Access Network (NCAN) has selected ASA as the evaluator for the 2018-2019 FAFSA Completion Challenge, funded by The Kresge Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. NCAN has selected 25 U.S. cities to participate in the grant, and challenges each of the grant recipients to increase their FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percentage points for the graduating high school class of 2019.   

As the project evaluator, ASA will conduct a formative assessment of all sites using qualitative data collected through site visits, focus groups and surveys to identify promising implementation practices and potential challenges. ASA will also conduct a quantitative analysis of changes in FAFSA completion rates over the year of the grant, and to the extent possible, examine for closure of equity gaps. ASA will highlight five high performing sites through in-depth case studies, and will provide recommendations for replication based on findings through reports and blog postings.  

In an effort to address equity gaps, this Challenge specifically focuses on cities with current FAFSA completion rates below the national average. The 2018-19 competition builds on the success of the original Kresge-funded 2016-17 FAFSA Completion Challenge. NCAN will award a $100,000 grand prize in September 2019 at its national conference in Indianapolis to one city based on a holistic review of the percentage growth in completions, adoption of effective strategies, barriers overcome, and likelihood of sustainability.

Nov. 2018: ASA Serving as Research Partner for the National Education Association

 ASA Research is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the National Education Association (NEA) to support their higher education research efforts. As the research partner, ASA will develop and provide analysis and tools on topics surrounding issues related to higher education such as faculty and staff salaries, institution finance, working conditions, and state budgeting and finance. ASA Partner Sue Clery has provided content for NEA’s Almanac of Higher Education for over 20 years.  

Oct. 2018: ASA Conducts Workshop for NC Student Success Center


Through our partnership with JFF’s Student Success Center Network, ASA conducted a workshop for the NC Center in October.  The workshop was designed to help college teams develop a data plan that actively supports decision making and planning regarding their college’s student success initiatives. ASA created a toolkit for the workshop participants that contains assessments, templates, illustrations and guides to help college teams develop their data plan. 

Sept. 2018: ASA Serving as Data Partner for Jobs for the Future's Student Success Center Networks

ASA Research is partnering with Jobs for the Future to help Student Success Centers (SSCs) and their colleges strategically use data to drive change. As the data partner, ASA will develop and provide: 1) tools and guides to support institutions’ student success related data work; 2) workshops and trainings regarding the strategic use of data to support student success initiatives; and 3) customized services to states, including research and consultation services for Centers.


More information on JFF’s Student Success Centers can be found at:

Recent Presentations


March 2019

Sue Clery presented What’s Up…or Down…with Faculty Salaries?  at  the the NEA Higher Education Conference in Chicago, an update of the status of compensation in academia. The update reviewed historical trends in salaries and how they are related to funding streams, salary differences across types of faculty, where the big “winners” are, and those who may not feel as flush. 

To make a case for collective bargaining, ASA's analysis of the salary differential between faculty and institutions with and without collective bargaining agreements was reviewed. Funding and salary differences among land grant institutions—specifically HBCUs and flagship universities—and the representation of and compensation for women compared with men and across racial/ethnic groups, and the status and recent trends surrounding part-time/adjunct faculty, the erosion of tenure, and which states are experiencing large funding declines and how it relates to faculty salaries was also presented. 

February 2019

 ASA Partner Sue Clery conducted a session at AASCU’s Academic Affairs Winter Meeting titled Make Your Data Work for You: Tips for Strategic Data Use. This session provided information and tips to help campus teams develop a strategic data plan that actively supports decision making and planning regarding institutions' student success initiatives. 

During this session, participants were armed with an understanding of key conditions for creating a culture of evidence, ideas for developing probing and guiding questions that result in actionable data, and the nuts and bolts of developing an effective monitoring and data communication plan. Sample assessment and tool giveaways were provided to workshop participants.

October 2018

ASA Partners Sue Clery and Abby Miller presented the final "Assessing the Capacity of IPEDS to Collect Transfer Student Data" report to the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative - IPEDS Fall meeting. 

June 2018

ASA Partner Abby Miller presented initial findings of research on transfer student data to the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative - IPEDS Spring meeting.

April 2018

  • Sue Clery presented findings from the North Carolina Multiple Measures evaluation at the Southern Regional Education Board and American Association of Community Colleges recent conferences.
  • Abby Miller was invited to present findings from the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative report on distance education at the IPEDS state data conference.

Recent Publications


June 2019

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) released  ASA’s report Starting with Students: Findings from NASFAA’s Consumer Testing Study of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Financing Plan,  which provides recommendations for better communicating financial aid concepts to students and families, based on our findings from focus groups and questionnaires.  Read the report and a summary of findings in our blog.

The National Education Association (NEA) published the Special Salary Issue 2019 of the NEA Higher Education Advocate, written by ASA partner Sue Clery. This annual report explores faculty purchasing power over time, and salaries by state, institution type, gender, academic field, unionization, rank, and other factors. The report also looks at the composition of faculty by sector, rank, and tenure status, and pay for HBCU faculty and graduate assistants. The report includes a detailed appendix with salaries for individual institutions in each state.

ASA has also contributed a series of blogs, published on NCAN's site, with early takeaways from our evaluation of the 2018-2019 FAFSA Completion Challenge. Read our recent blogs on social media strategies and peer strategies

January 2019

ASA partners Abby Miller and Sue Clery, and ASA consultant Amy Topper co-authored a report for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Postsecondary Education Cooperative, Assessing the Capacity of IPEDS to Collect Student Transfer Data

September 2018

ASA Partner Sue Clery analyzed institutional revenues and expenditures by public colleges and universities to investigate why students are paying more for tuition, and found a clear shift away from instruction toward administration. See page 15 of the September NEA Advocate for a detailed infographic.

July 2018

See page 4 of the National Education Association’s May 2018 Advocate for Sue Clery’s analysis of salaries for faculty represented by unions compared with those who are not.

May 2018

ASA founding partner Sue Clery co-authored a chapter in the Spring 2018 volume of New Directions for Community Colleges. Entitled “Lessons Learned from Developmental Education Data,” the chapter identifies some of the challenges surrounding data collection and analysis regarding development students, including testing and identifying academic needs, placement determination, and measuring student outcomes.

Sue Clery authored “Faculty Salaries: 2016–17” in the National Education Association’s 2018 Almanac of Higher Education, where she delineates the most recent changes in faculty salaries. She finds that faculty purchasing power showed a slight one-year increase in 2016–17, but recovered to a level higher than that prior to 2007–08, the high before the financial crisis. Although women faculty, on average, continue to earn less than men, some women fare well when salaries are compared within rank and sector. In public institutions, faculty with collective bargaining agreements earn more than faculty at institutions without such agreements, and the gap is more pronounced at community colleges. The share of faculty with tenure has declined over the past two decades, with the largest declines occurring between 1997–98 and 2007–08, yet over the most recent 10 years the declines have slowed or leveled off in some sectors.