Research and Data

CIC's research and data efforts provide institutions with a better understanding of information and trends in their sector. These efforts focus on the Making the Case materials, as well as periodic research studies and reports.


 Making the Case Charts and Data


A key component of CIC's research and data efforts is CIC's Making the Case initiative, generously funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations. The initiative provides access to a collection of more than 100 charts and data, as well as speeches, addresses, books and reports, and media articles, that help to document the effectiveness of independent higher education.



 Benchmarking Tools and Services

​CIC provides the Key Indicators Tool (KIT) and Financial Indicators Tool (FIT) free of charge to CIC institutional members. The reports are prepared by the Austen Group, and generously funded by TIAA-CREF.
The Key Indicators Tool (KIT), introduced in 2004, is aimed at improving the capacity of member institutions to gain access to and utilize data to enhance institutional decision-making and improve institutional effectiveness.

CIC's Financial Indicators Tool (FIT) provides an easily understood assessment of an institution’s financial performance that can be tracked over time and benchmarked against similar institutions.


 Liberal Arts Resources

CIC has launched a national, multi-pronged initiative to promote the liberal arts and the effectiveness of independent higher education. This site includes links to data, op-eds, articles, speeches, blog posts, and videos that highlight how liberal arts and independent liberal arts colleges produce graduates who are among the best prepared for success in their personal, career, and community lives.


 Research Studies and Reports


CIC periodically releases research studies and reports. The most recent reports include: 

CIC's new fact sheet sets the record straight on student debt.
Analyzes the demographic characteristics of CIC college and university presidents, their duties and responsibilities, satisfaction and frustrations in their work, and career paths and plans.

Examines the learning outcomes as measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) of low-income and first-generation students attending urban colleges and universities, and provides comparisons with similar students at non-urban institutions.


 Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)


The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) initiative studies "institutional effects" associated with larger than expected gains in students' analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and writing skills.