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Researchers Download Federal Data Amid Concerns Over Future Access

Before a confirmation vote at the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee this week, Betsy DeVos responded to more than 800 written questions from Democratic members of the committee. Those answers didn’t help persuade any Democrats to support her as the next secretary of education — her nomination advanced to the full Senate on a party-line 12-11 vote — but one response has stirred concerns among higher education researchers that the Department of Education will not remain committed to maintaining federal data currently published on its website.

Those data are critical, researchers say, to studying issues like student debt, student persistence, graduation rates and job placement outcomes.