Data.gov

Aligned to goals:
  • 1.2: Make more data and information available to the public.
  • 2.2: Provide regularly updated project maps, dated milestones, and financial data regarding open government and other key initiatives.

Data produced by government agencies are often hard to find or are published in proprietary formats of limited utility. As a result, a wealth of information remains untapped by the ingenuity and creativity of the American people. Data.gov is a user-friendly platform that provides access to federal data sets. With a searchable data catalog, Data.gov helps the public find, access, and download non-sensitive government data and tools in a variety of formats. The Department is currently linking a number of data sets to Data.gov and will continue to do so as quickly as practicable.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has been the traditional source of high-value [ 4 ] data at the Department of Education.

Recently, the Federal Student Aid Data Center was launched to provide a centralized source of information and data related to the federal financial assistance programs. Many of the high-value data sets are released simultaneously on both the FSA Data Center and Data.gov.

The entire high-value public use data collection of NCES is currently available online either at NCES.ed.gov or at Data.gov. All new public use data sets are posted to Data.gov when they are released.

In addition, the Department has recognized that privacy and data security concerns are central to accessing and managing education data. To help support this aspect of data access, the Department is working to provide more technical assistance in the areas of privacy and data security for State and local agencies as well as researchers and other parties engaged with education data. To accomplish this, the Department will be establishing the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) by fall 2010.

At the time of this document's publication, we currently have the following data available at Data.gov (we have also included examples of the types of questions these data sets are intended to answer):

FAFSA Application Volume

This report provides information on the number of Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) processed. It provides the number of applications by the applicant's State of legal residence and by postsecondary institution, as listed on the applicant's FAFSA. Numbers are reported in two categories: dependent students and independent students. The following questions are answered: How many students took the first step toward applying for college financial assistance by filling out the FAFSA? How many students in each State filled it out? What is the breakdown by postsecondary institution of the number of students who filled it out?

Common Core of Data (CCD) Local Education Agency Universe Survey

The 1986-87 to 2007-08 Common Core of Data Local Education Agency Universe Survey consists of data submitted annually to NCES by State education agencies in the United States and the territories. The purpose of the survey is to provide a listing of all school districts providing free public elementary and secondary education, along with basic descriptive statistical information on each school district listed.

State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data (CCD)

State Fiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data (CCD)

The 1986-87 to 2007-08 Common Core of Data State Nonfiscal/Fiscal Surveys of Public Elementary/Secondary Education consists of data submitted annually to NCES by State education agencies in the United States and the territories. The purpose of the surveys is to provide information about students and staff and about sources and expenditures of funds in public elementary and secondary education.

Common Core of Data (CCD) State Dropout and Completion Data

The primary purposes of the 2005-06 to 2006-07 State Dropout and Completion Data Files are to report the numbers of dropouts from each of grades 9 through 12 and the relevant event dropout rates , and to report the numbers of high school diploma recipients, other high school completers, and the relevant Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR).

National Household Education Survey (NHES)

This household-based survey provides descriptive data on the educational activities of the U.S. population and offers a variety of statistics on the condition of education in the United States. The NHES surveys cover learning at all ages, from early childhood to school age through adulthood. The NHES has been conducted since 1991, and has modules covering early childhood care, parent and family involvement in education, after-school program participation, school safety, library usage, adult education, school readiness, and civic involvement (1991 to 2007).

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS)

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS), Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 followed a nationally representative sample of children who were kindergartners in 1998-99 from kindergarten through eighth grade.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the "Nation's Report Card," is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. NAEP includes data from Main NAEP, Long-term Trend NAEP, and the High School Transcript Data (1970-2009).

National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS)

NPSAS is a survey of student financing of postsecondary education in the United States. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at all types of postsecondary institutions in the U.S. in 2007-08 are represented. These include public, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit sector institutions at every level: less-than-2-year, 2-year, 4-year, and graduate only.

Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS)

This file contains data from a quick-response survey using the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS). It provides national estimates on postsecondary education topics (e.g., distance education, dual-enrollment) among 2-year and 4-year Title IV eligible, degree-granting institutions.

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

This 2007 school-based assessment provides descriptive data on the educational outcomes of U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders in mathematics and science, as well as factors that may be related to achievement in these subject areas. In addition to the assessment, background data is collected from students, their teachers, and schools. TIMSS has been administered every four years since 1995.

Additionally, NCES is in the processes of posting the following data sets to Data.gov:

NCES Data Releases Scheduled from June 1-30, 2010

  • 2008-09 Common Core of Data Elementary and Secondary Education school-level nonfiscal data file [Format: tab-separated values text files (.txt)]
  • Fiscal Year 2008 Common Core of Data Elementary and Secondary Education State Fiscal (National Public Education Finance Survey) data file [Format: tab-separated values text files (.txt)]
  • 2007-08 Common Core of Data Elementary and Secondary Education Agency school district-level dropout and graduation data file [Format: tab-separated values text files (.txt)]
  • Final revised 2007-08 Common Core of Data Elementary and Secondary Education State- level nonfiscal data file [Format: tab-separated values text files (.txt)]
  • Fall 2008 Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) Enrollments [Format: csv files]
    • Enrollments by race/ethnicity, gender, attendance status, and level of student
    • Enrollments by age category, gender, attendance status, and level of student
    • Enrollments by residence and migration of first-time freshmen
    • Enrollments by total entering class and retention rate
    • Major field of study, race/ethnicity, gender, attendance status, and level of student 2008
    • Total entering class and retention rates
  • 2008 Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) Graduation Rates for the 2002 Cohort at 4- year institutions and the 2005 cohort at 2-year institutions and less-than-2-year institutions [Format: csv files]
    • Graduation rate data for cohort year 2002 4-year and cohort year 2005 2-year institutions
    • Graduation rate data for cohort year 2005 less-than-2-year institutions
  • Fiscal Year 2008 Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) Financial Statistics [Format csv files]
    • Public institutions—GASB 34/35
    • Public institutions-GASB 34/35 (Component units using FASB)
    • Public institutions-GASB 34/35 (Component units using GASB)
    • Private not-for-profit institutions or public institutions using FASB
    • Private for-profit institutions
  • Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) 2004 cohort of entering students as of 2009
    • Create tables and graphs quickly and efficiently using Quick Stats [Data tool]
    • Create complex tables and run linear and logistic regressions using DAS 2.0 [Data tool]
  • Fast Response Survey System (FRSS89) Technology-based Distance Education for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students, 2004-05 [Format: ASCII flat file]
  • Fast Response Survey System (FRSS92) Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools, Fall 2008 [Format: ASCII flat file]
  • Fast Response Survey System (FRSS93) Educational Technology in Public School Districts, Fall 2008 [Format: ASCII flat file]
  • Fast Response Survey System (FRSS 95) Teachers' Use of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools [Format: ASCII flat file]
  • Fast Response Survey System (FRSS 96) Alternative Schools and Programs for Students at Risk of Educational Failure, 2007-08 [Format: ASCII flat file]

[4] High-value information is information that can be used to: increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation.