Evolving with the Times: A Q&A on the New Carnegie Classifications

After 50+ years, the Carnegie Classifications system, a tool that categorizes U.S. colleges and universities (degree-granting), is undergoing significant changes through our partnership with the American Council on Education. For a deeper understanding of our renewed direction, please read this Q&A piece, Reimagining the Carnegie Classifications, from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). Mushtaq Gunja and Sara Gast, executive director and deputy executive director for the Carnegie Classifications of Higher Education, were interviewed.

The new framework will emphasize variables like student outcomes and institutional missions. Another exciting and noteworthy change is the rollout of a classification that focuses on how an institution contributes to students’ socioeconomic mobility. Set to be unveiled by 2025, with preliminary insights available in 2023, this revamped system will offer stakeholders—from students to academics—a more nuanced and holistic perspective. The major takeaway: a more adaptive and insightful tool for evaluating the multifaceted world of higher education.