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Data in Higher Education

A student walks on a college campus

Meaningful, accurate data is essential to improving outcomes in higher education. 

We need stronger data to empower students, families, institutions, and policymakers to make well-informed choices. Today, federal law prohibits the federal government from collecting and reporting accurate data on student outcomes nationwide.

Full transparency on how colleges are serving students, including disaggregated data on outcomes for students of different backgrounds, is necessary to help students succeed. Today, we can’t accurately answer basic questions about students’ outcomes, such as how completion rates vary by race and income and which students go on to succeed in the workforce. To answer these questions, we support policy development, coalition-building, and outreach to build a national privacy-protected, student-level data network. We work to improve improve existing data quality, ensuring students, families, policymakers, and other stakeholders have access to the data they need to make smart decisions.

Image: A Stanford University student walks in front of Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, in 2012. (Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press)

About 1 in 3
Proportion of the college-going population unaccounted for in current federally-reported outcomes Source
Metrics many colleges must now calculate and report on their own because we lack a federal SLDN Source
Members of the House of Representatives co-sponsoring the College Transparency Act Source