The Standards and Data Confidentiality

Hear from Standards Consultant Wayne France about the importance of following the Standards with regards to reporting student salary data. 

The Standards section F.1.n says, “Report the median, mean, high and low salaries within the categories when there are a minimum of three data points, or the number of data points is equal to or greater than one percent of Full Time graduates seeking employment, whichever is greater. This provides additional confidentiality for compensation reporting.”
The last sentence is why this requirement exists. To provide confidentiality of salary for your students. One can understand that if you are showing the mean, median, high and low, for the one student or two students in this category, the salaries the will be able to be traced to a particular student. Many students share their company and function information with classmates when discussing offers, but if there are the only one or two students in this category (such as HR), the salary can now be traced to a specific student.
Many schools will say that “they would never do this” when filling out their employment information, but yet it is the most common finding in the Standards Compliane Review (AUP) process
What are the ramifications of doing this?  By compromising the confidentiality of the student by making their information available, this first of all could hurt the student as they may be subject to judgement about their offer, but also could impact the company who is hiring as now their salary offer data is now revealed to all. Further, if the first year class sees that the Career Management Office has compromised the confidentiality of one or two students in the 2nd year, they will not be as eager to fill out the survey for next year's data and could impact your school's ability to meet the 85% information and 80% salary information minimums.
The rule protects both the school and the student – do not enter any salary information where the number of students in any breakdown category does not meet the minimum of 3 students or 1% of your seeking population, whichever is greater.

For more information abouit this rule, or other Standards questions, contact Wayne France.