Institutional Researchers collect, analyze and report on information related to students, faculty, curriculum and course offerings, as well as the outcomes of the campus. This information supports decision making on the campus. They also provide information to interested outside organizations.

Research Resources from UW System

Resource Overview

The Office of Policy Analysis and Research (OPAR) maintains an extensive database containing over three million student records dating back to 1974. The Central Data Request (CDR) database includes information on every student who enrolled in any of the 26 UW System campuses. Each student record carries over 80 variables. Extending our service to UW institutions, data prepared by OPAR analysts are available to consumers, marketing groups, demographers, social scientists, educators, economists, and institutional researchers. A charge may be applied on a cost recovery basis. The priority of any request will be at the discretion of the Director of OPAR. Data are available in aggregate form only. No student is identified by name or social security number.

Type of Information

Variables encompass demographic characteristics (i.e., race, age, gender), geographic origins, (i.e., zip codes, home address, counties, states, countries), student age, gross family income (for financial aid recipients only), majors, degree recipients, grade point average, Wisconsin high school graduated from, high school rank, average ACT scores, and curricular or course enrollment.


Data are submitted several times per year by each UW institution to OPAR. During each submission, the data undergoes a rigorous electronic and manual validation process.

Learn more about the Fee-for-Service policies.