Attachment 105: Addendum to FICE Codes

Attachment 105: Addendum to FICE Codes

Documentation for the NLSY79 FICE Code Data 1984-2014

This attachment contains the supplementary identification numbers for those colleges and universities not listed in the Education Directory-Colleges and Universities (1981-92 and 1982-83 supplement) published by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Note: Those wishing to use the FICE code data should be aware that some discrepancies and undocumented codes were detected in the codes originally assigned to some colleges and universities. CHRR has reconciled these discrepancies and has added a series of revised FICE code and FICETYPE variables to the Geocode files for survey years 1984-2014. The original FICE code variables with the discrepancies remain in the data files as well. For details on revisions to FICE codes variables, see Appendix 13: Introduction to CAPI Questionnaires and Codebooks in the Codebook Supplement.

Note: Exact codes appear in the geocode CD documentation and are available only to geocode CD users. This attachment describes the general approach to assigning FICE codes for colleges attended by NLSY79 respondents. 


The 1979-2014 release of the NLSY79 datasets includes revised FICE code variables for survey years 1984-2014. These revised variables incorporate significant case-by-case editing to previously assigned codes. Revisions were made four main reasons: 1) to identify institutions lacking valid FICE codes; 2) to distinguish international institutions from U.S. institutions; 3) to correct systematic errors and inconsistencies in the data; and 4) to identify respondents who received college credit through courses taken away from the institution's physical campus. [NOTE: The 700,000, 800,000 and 80,000 series of school identification codes no longer appear in the data.]

This document explains the coding system for educational institutions that are found in the NLSY79 respondents' education history. Whenever possible, schools are identified by the Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE) code. If a particular school did not have a FICE code, the unit identification code (UNITID), an identifier used by the Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS), was imposed in its place. If no UNITID existed for an institution, an identification code assigned by CHRR is present.

In addition to the revised FICE code variables for 1984-2014, a series of corresponding FICETYPE variables has been identifying the type of identification code assigned. These variables are called 'FICE Code Type (Revised) for Most Recent College Attended,' 'FICE Code Type (Revised) for 2nd Most Recent College Attended,' and 'FICE Code Type (Revised) for 3rd Most Recent College Attended.' These FICETYPE variables take on the following values as appropriate:

0 Valid FICE Code
2 School Identification Code for International Institutions
3 Respondent Taking Courses from Remote Location
4 School Identification Code-Institution Cannot be Verified

Primary references for the revisions to NLSY79 FICE Code data

 National Center for Education Statistics. 1991-92 Directory of Postsecondary Institutions. Volumes 1 and 2. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1992.

____________. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System 1991. (CD-ROM). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1991.

As supplementary resources, the appendices of all issues of the Directory of Postsecondary Institutions published between 1980 and 1994 were used.

Note: Although the unrevised FICE codes (containing the original coding received from NORC) have been retained in the geocode data files, users should exercise caution in attempting to match colleges using these unrevised FICE codes. The comparability of these original FICE codes was called into question in recent years, and the revised FICE variables described in this addendum incorporate many changes/corrections to those original codes. The remain in the data for purposes of allowing users to compare revisions to FICE code data contained in the revised series of variables, with the original coding assigned by NORC coders.

The original unrevised codes for institutions of higher learning which were contained in the Education Directory -- Colleges and Universities (the actual National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publications containing the FICE codes) should be comparable across years. However, it came to the attention of CHRR that updates of those NCES publications more recent than the 1982-83 supplement wre used in the coding of schools/colleges attended. Because the 1981-82 edition and the 1982-83 supplement to that edition of The Education Directory were not used continuously (as originally thought), users should be aware of the possibility that the original unrevised FICE codes assigned to institutions that have ceased to eixst were reassigned to new institutions in updated publications. This noted, however, matching across years using these 'non-supplemental' FICE codes from the unrevised variables should be reasonably accurate.