Education Data Explorer

How To

Getting started

The Education Data Explorer provides a wide variety of data on schools, districts, and colleges. For example, you can use the Explorer to:

  • Get your school’s demographics for the past thirty years
  • Compare high school graduation rates for every district in the state
  • Look up a college’s average SAT scores or tuition
  • Analyze AP course-taking
  • Understanding the frequency of bullying
  • Get demographic breakdowns by college major
  • Compare colleges’ graduation rates

To start, select the education level you want to explore, and the tool will guide you from there.

Analyzing your data

Your data will be provided in an Excel file (or multiple files). If your data are in multiple files, you can combine them using a vlookup. You can find more guidance here and here.

Webinars

These webinars can provide a useful overview of how to use the Explorer and the data.

FAQ

About the Data

  • Where are the data from?
    • This site draws on data from a number of sources, all listed here. The source(s) for a specific data request can be found in the data dictionary that accompanies your data download.
  • Are there plans to add more data in the future?
    • Yes. We regularly both update existing datasets and add data from other sources.
  • When will you add more recent data?
    • The data in the portal are updated as quickly as possible after the datasets are made available by the federal government. In most cases, the data here are the most up-to-date available.
  • How can I find out when you have added new data?
    • To find out when we’ve added or updated data, sign up for our newsletter.
  • I think I found an error in the data.
    • Data reporting errors or inconsistencies are a reality of large data collections. If you think you’ve found an error, let us know.

Using the Data

  • Can I get student-level data?
    • No. All data are institution-level data, with breakdowns for certain demographic groups.
  • Can I see data for the entire US student population?
    • Currently, the best way to look at data for all students is to pull the full data file from the API.
  • How do I directly search for my own school?
    • Choose a state first and then type in your school's name.
  • Why are my data in multiple files?
    • If you received data in multiple files, this is because you requested disaggregated data—that is, data broken down by (for example) race, sex, or age. You will get separate files for each breakdown you requested. You can use the identifiers to link the datasets you receive.

Troubleshooting

  • I calculated a percentage over 100%. Why is that?
    • This can happen if the data you’re using to calculate a percentage (your numerator and denominator) were collected in different years or at different points in the school year. The data files and data dictionary generated with your request might help clarify, and you can learn more about the data at the API documentation site. You can also contact us if you have questions about particular datasets.
  • I think the Explorer is broken.
    • If you requested a large dataset, it may take some time to generate. If your dataset never generates or you’re encountering a bug at a different step of the process, email us.
  • Who can I contact if I have trouble accessing the data?

Other ways to access the data

The data in the Education Data Portal can also be accessed through Stata, R, or directly through our Application Programming Interface (API).

Suggested citation

When citing data from the Education Data Portal in any research reports, briefs, or similar products, please cite both the portal and the dataset. For example:

[dataset names], Education Data Portal (Version 0.16.0), Urban Institute, accessed Month, DD, YYYY, https://educationdata.urban.org/documentation/, made available under the ODC Attribution License.

When citing data from the Education Data Portal in blog posts, data visualizations, or other works in which the full citation above may unduly constrain available space, we recommend the following citation:

[dataset names], via Education Data Portal v. 0.16.0, Urban Institute, under ODC Attribution License.

We highly encourage users to reach out to [email protected] to notify us of any projects or research using these data, including providing information on the title and link to any published work, which can elevate the visibility of your work and help us make the case for continued funding.