Education Department aims to make college more affordable with APIs

One of the most necessary of evils — dealing with college applications and processes — is looking to improve and needs the public’s help.

Like many other agencies, the Education Department is asking the public for input on ways it can increase innovation, transparency and access to data. In particular, the department is exploring how to improve its application programming interfaces, in order to open up more of its data and improve accessibility.

“We are asking you — student advocates, designers, developers and others — to share your ideas on how APIs could spark innovation and enable processes that can serve students better,” David Soo, a senior policy analyst at the Education Department, said in a blog post.

The department needs citizens to weigh in on a Request for Information on how it can use APIs to increase access to higher-education data or financial aid programs, Soo added. APIs could streamline processes such as filing the free application for federal student aid, he said.


By increasing innovation and API use, the Education Department hopes it will be able to make higher education more affordable and available to more people.

Suggestions should make sure to consider the sensitive nature of Education Department data, as it involves information about students and their families.

“Openness only works if privacy and security issues are fully considered and addressed,” Soo said. “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.”

Those with input can email by June 2.

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