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A Finding Aid for the Degree Program Costs Reports 1984-2012

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Degree Program Cost Reports

Creator: Ferris State University. Office of Institutional Research and Testing.

Dates: 1984-2018

Abstract: The degree program cost reports are a series of statistical analyses of program costs including student credit hours, instructor costs, departmental costs, and costs within a college.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.50 cubic feet; 1 records center box

Identification: UA 15.1.603

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

The creation of the first instruction program costing manual in the 1980s was a joint effort of many areas at Ferris including: the planning and development office, the computer center and the budget analysts. The need of such analysis was in part because of the varied nature of programs offered by the university. It was felt that such analysis would be useful in the budgeting process- although the professional programs such as optometry and pharmacy were clearly more cost intensive programming. This data later became a critical tool for both program planning and accreditation.

Ferris at the time had a variable cost of 1 to 2.2 basis program costs. This was a larger variation than other institutions. The original system was also meant to help: compare support costs between departmental and dean levels, determine computer center costs and percentage of program costs recovered through tuition.

Each report began with a description of methodology (all analysis was completed using the faculty load system operated by the computer center) followed by a series of tables. The first group of tables list average instructor department and dean's cost per student credit hour for degree programs. More detailed charts showing costs for individual courses followed in a separate section. Program costs assume that a student will finish the program within a single year. Departmental and dean's costs use college-wide averages.

The reports are maintained and created by the Institutional Research and Testing office and are several hundred pages long.

Scope and Content Note

This report is used for the academic planning process. It includes cost data from university funding sources relating to expenditures for specific instructional/degree programs. The information is gathered from a computer system which calculates faculty load. The information is analyzed in several different ways including: instructor cost per student credit hour, department cost per student credit hour, total program instructor cost, total department cost and total program dean's cost.

The collection contains only the final compilation of reports arranged chronologically. Some reports are missing. Some reports cover an academic year, while others cover a calendar year.


The papers are in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Degree Program Costs Reports are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box (or url). Degree Program Costs Reports. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

These records were transferred to the University Archives when published by the Institutional Research and Testing office.

Processing Information

The Degree Program Cost Reports were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in May 2008. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. A collection level MARC-21 record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of bound reports on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Degree Program Reports. 1984-2018.

The degree program cost reports are a series of statistical analyses of program costs including student credit hours, instructor costs, departmental costs, and costs within a college. Only the final reports are included.

They are arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Instructional program costing manual. Spring 1984.
1 2 Degree program costs report. Spring 1988.
1 3 Degree program costs report. 1989-1990.
1 4 Degree program costs report. 1994-1995.
1 5 Degree program costs report. 1995-1996.
1 6 Degree program costs report. 1996-1997.
1 7 Degree program costs report. 1997-1998.
1 8 Degree program costs report. 1999-2000.
1 9 Degree program costs report. 2000-2001.
1 10 Degree program costs report. 2001-2002.
1 11 Degree program costs report. 2002-2003.
1 12 Degree program costs report. 2003-2004.
1 13 Degree program costs report. 2007-2008.
1 14 Degree program costs report. 2009-2010.
1 15 Degree program costs report. 2011-2012.
1 16 Degree program costs report. 2013-2014.
1 17 Degree program costs report. 2015-2016.
Box Folder Contents
2 1 Degree program costs report. 2017-2018.