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Senator Harkin's Unit Record Proposal

by Tod Massa 21. November 2014 23:08

As you read through the text note such items as:

  • Necessary and sufficient for the fall enrollment, 12-month enrollment, completions, student financial aid and net price, graduation rates, student charges portions of IPEDS 
  • Dollar amount and number of students receiving Federal, State, institutional and private financial aid, including grants, loans, and cumulative debt (down to individual programs)
  • Completion rates for master's, professional, and doctoral level students
  • Earnings data for undergraduate and graduate students at 2, 5, and 10 years post-completion
  • Subsequent enrollment
  • Allow institutions of higher education to request the system of higher education of which the are a member or the state in which they are located to report student unit record data on their behalf
  • Report the outcome metrics disaggregated by race and ethnicity, gender, level, etc.
  • Privacy
  • Proper disclosure
  • Proper use
There is a lot of good stuff here. Very similar to Know-Before You Go...likewise similar to what we do in Virginia.

It's probably a shame it is not going anywhere.



2 Part G of title IV (20 U.S.C. 1088 et seq.), as 

3 amended by section 493A and 493B, is further amended 

4 by adding at the end the following: 


6 ‘‘(a) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this section are— 

7 ‘‘(1) to promote better transparency of informa-

8 tion to students and their families about postsec-

9 ondary costs and outcomes while protecting student 

10 privacy in data collection; 

11 ‘‘(2) to reduce the burden of data collection on 

12 institutions of higher education, including duplica-

13 tive IPEDS reporting; 

14 ‘‘(3) to inform institutional and program im-

15 provement at institutions of higher education; and 

16 ‘‘(4) to help improve laws and policies impact-

17 ing postsecondary education. 


19 ‘‘(1) SUBMISSION OF DATA.—Each institution 

20 of higher education participating in a program under 

21 this title shall submit to the Secretary student unit 

22 record data that is necessary and sufficient, as de-

23 termined by the Secretary, to complete all student 

24 components of reporting required for the Integrated 

25 Postsecondary Education Data System (referred to 

26 in this section as ‘IPEDS’). 500 

1 ‘‘(2) REQUIRED DATA.—The data required to 

2 be reported to the Secretary under paragraph (1) 

3 shall include the minimum number of data elements 

4 necessary and sufficient for the fall enrollment, 12- 

5 month enrollment, completions, student financial aid 

6 and net price, graduation rates, student charges por-

7 tions of IPEDS, and portions of IPEDS relating to 

8 admissions, test scores, and institutional characteris-

9 tics surveys, and other surveys, as determined by the 

10 Secretary. The Secretary shall undertake data mini-

11 mization efforts in collecting this data and shall ag-

12 gregate the data received and report it publicly at 

13 the institutional, program-specific, and State-specific 

14 level. 

15 ‘‘(3) REVIEW.— 

16 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 6 

17 months after the date of enactment of the 

18 Higher Education Affordability Act, the Sec-

19 retary shall— 

20 ‘‘(i) review the data collected pursuant 

21 to IPEDS to determine whether it is dupli-

22 cative of the data required to be collected 

23 under this section; and 

24 ‘‘(ii) establish a process by which in-

25 stitutions of higher education will transi-501 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 tion to reporting data under this section in 

2 a way that reduces duplication and burden. 

3 ‘‘(B) UPDATE OF REVIEW.—Beginning 5 

4 years after the date of enactment of the Higher 

5 Education Affordability Act, and every 5 years 

6 thereafter or as necessary as determined by the 

7 Secretary, the Secretary shall review and up-

8 date, as necessary, the categories of data that 

9 shall be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1). 

10 ‘‘(4) GUIDANCE.—Not later than 1 year after 

11 the date of enactment of the Higher Education Af-

12 fordability Act, the Secretary shall submit to institu-

13 tions of higher education— 

14 ‘‘(A) guidance related to the submission of 

15 data under this section; and 

16 ‘‘(B) a reasonable timeframe by which in-

17 stitutions of higher education shall submit the 

18 data. 


20 data that is required to be collected on the day be-

21 fore the date of enactment of the Higher Education 

22 Affordability but is not reported into the student 

23 unit record system established under this section 

24 shall continue to be collected. 502 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 



3 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Data submitted to the Sec-

4 retary under subsection (b) shall be used to calculate 

5 student components of IPEDS. 


7 CULATED BY THE SECRETARY.—In addition to the 

8 IPEDS student component measures required to be 

9 calculated by the Secretary on the day before the 

10 date of enactment of the Higher Education Afford-

11 ability Act and the data elements described in sub-

12 section (b)(2), the Secretary shall also collect the 

13 student unit record data necessary and sufficient to 

14 calculate, beginning not later than 2 years after the 

15 date of enactment of the Higher Education Afford-

16 ability Act and at the certificate or degree-level, and 

17 institutional, program-specific, and State-specific 

18 level, information concerning each of the following: 

19 ‘‘(A) The dollar amount and number of 

20 students receiving Federal, State, institutional 

21 and private financial aid, including grants, 

22 loans, and cumulative debt that is reported sep-

23 arately for undergraduate and graduate stu-

24 dents and disaggregated by completion status. 503 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(B) Graduation, persistence, transfer 

2 rates, and still enrolled rates for all under-

3 graduate students, reported overall and sepa-

4 rately for first-time full-time students at entry, 

5 first-time part-time students at entry, transfer 

6 full-time students at entry and part-time trans-

7 fer students at entry within 100 percent, 150 

8 percent, and 200 percent of the normal time to 

9 graduation, including transfer rates by level of 

10 receiving institution. 

11 ‘‘(C) Completion rates for master’s, profes-

12 sional, and doctoral level students. 

13 ‘‘(D) Earnings data for undergraduate and 

14 graduate students, disaggregated by completion 

15 status, for each of the following time periods: 

16 ‘‘(i) 2 years after program exit. 

17 ‘‘(ii) 5 years after program exit. 

18 ‘‘(iii) 10 years after program exit. 

19 ‘‘(E) Loan repayment rates for under-

20 graduate and graduate students, disaggregated 

21 by completion status. 

22 ‘‘(F) Enrollment in subsequent postsec-

23 ondary education for undergraduate and grad-

24 uate level students. 504 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(G) Any other measures determined by 

2 the Secretary, after consultation with the Na-

3 tional Center for Education Statistics and with 

4 input from the postsecondary education commu-

5 nity, including students, representatives from 

6 institutions of higher education, researchers, 

7 the public, and other relevant stakeholders. 


9 RECORD DATA SYSTEM.—The Secretary shall estab-

10 lish a student unit record data system under this 

11 section that shall— 

12 ‘‘(A) establish consistent definitions and 

13 directions for institutions to follow in submit-

14 ting the student unit record data required 

15 under this section; 

16 ‘‘(B) determine both collection and submis-

17 sion requirements for this section, including the 

18 CIP codes to be used for reporting program- 

19 specific data; 

20 ‘‘(C) be subject to a privacy impact assess-

21 ment, as described in section 208 of the E-Gov-

22 ernment Act of 2002, before collecting informa-

23 tion; 

24 ‘‘(D) streamline and minimize the data re-

25 quired to be submitted under subsection (b)(2) 505 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 and paragraph (2), in order to reduce duplica-

2 tion of reporting of information by institutions 

3 of higher education and to protect student pri-

4 vacy, which shall be done by working with the 

5 National Center for Education Statistics, the 

6 Office of Federal Student Aid, other offices 

7 within the Department, and other Federal 

8 agencies, as determined appropriate by the Sec-

9 retary; 

10 ‘‘(E) prepopulate the student unit record 

11 data system with data from existing data 

12 sources, including the National Student Loan 

13 Data System under section 485B, and ensure 

14 that such data is imported into the student unit 

15 record data system but data from the student 

16 unit record system is not exported back to the 

17 National Student Loan Data System or other 

18 existing data sources; 

19 ‘‘(F) include a process, developed in col-

20 laboration with the Social Security Administra-

21 tion, by which— 

22 ‘‘(i) the Department submits unit 

23 record lists to the Social Security Adminis-

24 tration with instructions on how to group 

25 and aggregate the data; and 506 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(ii) the Social Security Administra-

2 tion, consistent with Social Security Ad-

3 ministration privacy standards and in a 

4 way that does not reveal personally identi-

5 fiable information— 

6 ‘‘(I) returns, to the Department, 

7 earnings data for students attending 

8 each institution that is provided in the 

9 aggregate and disaggregated based on 

10 the programs of education attended 

11 and by type of certificate or degree 

12 earned by the graduates; and 

13 ‘‘(II) aggregates the earning data 

14 for students attending institutions in 

15 order to provide institution-specific 

16 and State-specific earnings data need-

17 ed by the Department for purposes of 

18 paragraph (2); and 

19 ‘‘(G) allow institutions of higher education 

20 to request the system of higher education of 

21 which they are a member or the State in which 

22 they are located to report student unit record 

23 data on their behalf if such reporting fully com-

24 plies with all the requirements of this section; 507 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(H) report the outcome metrics required 

2 under this subsection, disaggregated, if the 

3 number of students in such subgroup or with 

4 such status is sufficient to avoid revealing per-

5 sonally identifiable information about an indi-

6 vidual student, by— 

7 ‘‘(i) race and ethnicity; 

8 ‘‘(ii) gender; 

9 ‘‘(iii) whether and at what level the 

10 student has enrolled in a degree-granting 

11 program, certificate-granting program, or 

12 developmental education; 

13 ‘‘(iv) first-time or transfer status; 

14 ‘‘(v) part-time or full-time status; 

15 ‘‘(vi) disability status, if applicable; 

16 ‘‘(vii) receipt of a Federal Pell Grant; 

17 ‘‘(viii) receipt of a loan made, insured, 

18 or guaranteed under section 428 or a Fed-

19 eral Direct Stafford Loan; 

20 ‘‘(ix) status as a student who has re-

21 ceived no Federal Pell Grants, no loans 

22 made, insured, or guaranteed under section 

23 428, and no Federal Direct Stafford 

24 Loans; 508 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(x) age ranges, to be determined by 

2 the Secretary; 

3 ‘‘(xi) military or veteran status; and 

4 ‘‘(xii) other categories determined nec-

5 essary by the Secretary; and 

6 ‘‘(I) require that data required under this 

7 section be collected for all students, including 

8 undergraduate and graduate students but re-

9 ported separately for undergraduate and grad-

10 uate students. 


12 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall use the 

13 data provided by institutions of higher education 

14 under subsections (b) and (c) only for the following: 

15 ‘‘(A) Publication of such statistical reports 

16 and studies as the Secretary determines appro-

17 priate, provided that such reports do not dis-

18 close personally identifiable information to any 

19 party. The Secretary shall specifically provide 

20 public statistical reports on access, costs, finan-

21 cial aid, educational needs, and student out-

22 comes that include graduation rates. 

23 ‘‘(B) Management, policy planning, and 

24 oversight purposes within the Department, in-509 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 cluding research to improve Federal laws im-

2 pacting postsecondary education. 

3 ‘‘(C) Consumer information. 

4 ‘‘(D) Providing information to institutions 

5 of higher education for institutional and pro-

6 gram improvement. 

7 ‘‘(E) To fulfill the IPEDS reporting obli-

8 gations of institutions of higher education and 

9 reduce the reporting burden on institutions. 


11 IPEDS data components and new outcome metrics 

12 collected under this section shall be included in the 

13 IPEDS Data Center at the institution and program 

14 specific level. Non-personally identifiable data shall 

15 also be available to the public and widely dissemi-

16 nated through electronic transfer, or other means, 

17 such as posting on the National Center for Edu-

18 cation Statistics’ website or other relevant place in 

19 a way that does not allow for the disclosure or dis-

20 semination of any personally identifiable information 

21 and shall fully comply with rules and regulations of 

22 the National Center for Education Statistics for 

23 data access. 



O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult exten-

2 sively with institutions of higher education, State agencies 

3 of higher education, privacy advocates, education research-

4 ers, statistical experts, students and their families. 




8 MATION.—Personally identifiable information main-

9 tained in the Federal student unit record data sys-

10 tem established under this section shall only be dis-

11 closed to— 

12 ‘‘(A) students whose data is contained in 

13 the system, upon request, and in connection 

14 with their own personally identifiable informa-

15 tion; 

16 ‘‘(B) institutions of higher education or 

17 their contractors (subject to paragraph (2)), to 

18 the extent that such disclosures may be re-

19 quired for purposes of data validation or correc-

20 tion regarding the data that institutions or 

21 their contractors already submitted, provided 

22 that no student-level data elements from other 

23 sources are disclosed to such institutions of 

24 higher education or their contractors; 511 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(C) employees or contractors of the De-

2 partment to the extent that such disclosure is 

3 necessary for the Secretary to carry out the re-

4 quirements of this section, and, in the case of 

5 contractors, subject to paragraph (2); or 

6 ‘‘(D) employees or contractors of the So-

7 cial Security Administration, provided that such 

8 disclosures are limited to the minimum number 

9 of data elements needed to obtain earnings data 

10 specifically authorized in this section, and that 

11 no personally identifiable information from the 

12 student unit record data system is retained by 

13 the Social Security Administration after they 

14 have provided earnings data. 


16 rying out the requirements of this section, the Sec-

17 retary and institutions of higher education may not 

18 disclose personally identifiable information from 

19 records of students to a contractor, consultant, or 

20 other third party to whom the Secretary or institu-

21 tion has delegated data collection and maintenance 

22 functions unless that contractor, consultant, or other 

23 third party— 512 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 ‘‘(A) is performing a function or task for 

2 which the Department, or institution of higher 

3 education would otherwise use employees; 

4 ‘‘(B) is under the direct control of the De-

5 partment or institution with respect to the use 

6 and maintenance of education records; 

7 ‘‘(C) does not use the education records for 

8 any other purposes than those explicitly author-

9 ized in its contract and agrees to not re-disclose 

10 personally identifiable information to any third 

11 party; 

12 ‘‘(D) uses applicable Federally mandated 

13 or industry-standard encryption technologies; 

14 ‘‘(E) has sufficient administrative and 

15 technical procedures to maintain safeguards 

16 and continuously monitor the security of per-

17 sonally identifiable information in its custody; 

18 ‘‘(F) provides training to all employees and 

19 responsible individuals, to ensure the security of 

20 education records; 

21 ‘‘(G) provides to the Department or insti-

22 tution, an acceptable breach remediation plan 

23 prior to the initial receipt of education records; 

24 ‘‘(H) reports all actual and suspected secu-

25 rity breaches to the Department or institution 513 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 that provided the education records as soon as 

2 detected; 

3 ‘‘(I) in the event of a security breach or 

4 unauthorized disclosure of personally identifi-

5 able information, pay all costs and liabilities in-

6 curred by the Department or institution related 

7 to the security breach or unauthorized disclo-

8 sure, including costs related to inquiries, miti-

9 gation, notification, and investigation costs; and 

10 ‘‘(J) destroys or returns to the Depart-

11 ment or institution all such personally identifi-

12 able information that has been submitted into 

13 the student unit record system upon request of 

14 the Department or institution at the termi-

15 nation of the contract. 


17 TEMS.—In order to ensure compliance with all Fed-

18 eral standards of data quality and individual privacy, 

19 the student unit record data system developed under 

20 this section shall include— 

21 ‘‘(A) a data audit system assessing data 

22 quality; 

23 ‘‘(B) a breach audit system; 

24 ‘‘(C) processes for data safeguarding; and 

25 ‘‘(D) a data governance system. 514 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 


2 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Individual data col-

3 lected under this section shall not be used for 

4 any purpose not specifically authorized by this 

5 section. 



8 ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—No action of Fed-

9 eral authority, State authority, or local au-

10 thority of any kind may be taken against 

11 an individual by utilizing the student unit 

12 record data system established under this 

13 section nor shall the student unit record 

14 data system established under this section 

15 be used— 

16 ‘‘(I) for purposes of— 

17 ‘‘(aa) establishing or 

18 verifying the eligibility of appli-

19 cants for, or recipients or bene-

20 ficiaries of, cash or in-kind as-

21 sistance or payments under Fed-

22 eral benefit programs; or 

23 ‘‘(bb) continuing compliance 

24 with statutory and regulatory re-

25 quirements for such assistance or 515 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 payments by such applicants, re-

2 cipients, or beneficiaries; 

3 ‘‘(II) for recouping payments or 

4 delinquent debts under such Federal 

5 benefit programs; or 

6 ‘‘(III) to affect future edu-

7 cational, employment, health, civil, 

8 criminal, or other actions against an 

9 individual whose information is main-

10 tained by the student unit record data 

11 system. 

12 ‘‘(ii) EXCEPTION.—Any data col-

13 lected, stored outside of the unit record 

14 system prior to enactment of the Higher 

15 Education Affordability Act, and used for 

16 enforcement actions, including data in the 

17 National Student Loan Data System, shall 

18 continue to be used for those purposes 

19 even when duplicates of the data are in-

20 cluded in the unit record system. 

21 ‘‘(C) GUIDELINES.—The Secretary shall 

22 issue guidelines to institutions regarding the 

23 need to amend the institutions’ required annual 

24 privacy notices to reference the data collection 

25 required under this section. 516 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 


2 data collected or maintained under this section 

3 shall sold to third parties nor used to market 

4 any products to individuals whose data is col-

5 lected under this section. 


7 DATA.—Prior to implementation of this section, the 

8 Secretary shall publish for public comment proposed 

9 procedures that ensure— 

10 ‘‘(A) the system developed under this sec-

11 tion does not disclose any personally identifiable 

12 information and complies with the requirements 

13 of section 444 of the General Education Provi-

14 sions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) (commonly known 

15 as the ‘Family Educational Rights and Privacy 

16 Act’) and other applicable Federal and State 

17 privacy laws; and 

18 ‘‘(B) there is a policy on the use of data 

19 collected under this section that prevents any 

20 use of data outside of the purposes of this sec-

21 tion. 


23 OF DATA.—Any individual who willfully discloses any per-

24 sonally identifiable information, including personal identi-

25 fiers, provided under this section, in any manner to an 517 

O:\ROM\ROM14454.xml [file 2 of 4] S.L.C. 

1 entity not authorized to receive such personally identifi-

2 able information, shall be charged with a class E felony, 

3 punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, 

4 or both. 

5 ‘‘(h) WEBSITE AND HOTLINE.—The Secretary shall 

6 establish a website and free hotline number that will pro-

7 vide information to students, their families, and the public 

8 about the student unit record data system established 

9 under this section to answer any questions the public may 

10 have about such system. 


12 CIES.—The Commissioner of Social Security shall work 

13 with the Secretary of Education to establish a process for 

14 matching and obtaining the data required under sub-

15 section (c)(3)(E). 

16 ‘‘(j) DATA SOVEREIGNTY.—The Secretary shall en-

17 sure all data maintained in the student unit record system 

18 are stored within the boundaries of the United States or 

19 in a facility owned and controlled by a contractor subject 

20 to the legal jurisdiction of the United States.’’. 518 








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