Add variable and value labels to IPEDS data in R

The purpose of this script is to add Stata variable and value labels to IPEDS data in R and save the result. One could also use Stata to (1) read in the data, (2) assign the labels, (3) save the result as a *.dta file, and then (4) use the haven package to read the labelled data into R. This script represents a pure R solution. You will need the tidyverse and labelled packages.

To use, download the Stata version of each required data file from IPEDS (*, which is really just a CSV file) along with its accompanying labelling file, * Do not unzip the files. By default, the script assumes these two sets of files and all output will be in the same directory. If you want to use separate folders for the Stata data, Stata label, and output R data files, you can set the paths in the script.

(You can batch download the IPEDS files you need using downloadipeds.r. Simply comment out or erase the files you don’t want in the accompanying ipeds_file_list.txt and make sure you set the option stata_data == TRUE in the main script.)

Due to changes across IPEDS data files over the years, it’s probable that some files will not be labelled correctly. That said the script does run (that is, assign labels) for all IPEDS zip files available as of mid-June 2018.