The U.S. Department of Education has published a request for information asking for public feedback on how the agency can innovate with open data, particularly application programming interfaces.
“The Department wants to make sure to do this right,” writes Education Department Senior Policy Advisor David Soo on the agency’s blog announcing the RFI. “It must ensure the security and privacy of the data it collects or maintains, especially when the information of students and families is involved. Openness only works if privacy and security issues are fully considered and addressed. We encourage the field to provide comments that identify concerns and offer suggestions on ways to ensure privacy, safeguard student information, and maintain access to federal resources at no cost to the student.”
From the RFI:
This RFI seeks to explore potential ways in which the Department can expand on its successful efforts to increase and enhance access to information on higher education already published on the Department’s Web site, including through IPEDS, EDFacts, and other National Center for Education Statistics surveys related to higher education; data held by the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA); and data available elsewhere in the Department that focuses on higher education. The Department also seeks feedback on options for read-only and read-write APIs that could increase access to and use of benefits, forms, and processes offered for programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), including in the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); enrollment in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) programs; enrollment in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program; participation in processes offered by title IV aid servicers in repaying Federal student loans; and use of loan counseling and financial literacy and awareness tools.
See the full RFI and submit feedback to APIRFI@ed.gov by June 2.