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Statistical Standards Program

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Restricted-Use Data Licensing Announcement

Beginning December 8, 2022, NCES and the other principal federal statistical agencies and units began using the Standard Application Process (SAP) Portal for submission of new applications. The SAP Portal is available at

Researchers requesting amendments to a current license should still access the license through NCES’s Restricted-Use Data Licensing system.

NCES transitioned to use of the SAP because the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 calls for the Federal government to establish a standard application process through which agencies, the Congressional Budget Office, State, local, and Tribal governments, researchers, and other individuals, as appropriate, may apply for access to confidential (i.e., restricted-use) microdata. The SAP Portal is a web-based data catalog and common application that serves as a “front door” to apply for confidential data from any of the 16 principal federal statistical agencies and units for evidence building purposes.

To learn more about the SAP, please visit the  Standard Application Process Overview webpage.

Restricted-use Data Applicants:
This online application system is for organizations interested in obtaining restricted-use data. Our goal is to maximize the use of statistical information, while protecting individually identifiable information from disclosure. This Electronic Application System was created to facilitate the restricted-use data application process, as well as to explain the laws and regulations governing these data. It is also used to process users’ requests for License amendments. Additional information about the Licensing process is in the Accessing and Using Restricted-Use Data FAQ, Licensing Procedures FAQ, and IES Restricted Use Data Procedures Manual. Remaining questions can be answered by sending an email to

To access an existing License, use the link you received when you first applied for the License. If you do not have this link, go to the system login page and use your License number and the PPO’s email address to generate an email with a link to your License.


  • This system serves as the mechanism to submit a Formal Request and for the IES Data Security Office to conduct an electronic review of your Formal Request and License paperwork.
  • The Licensee is responsible for submitting the completed and signed License document, Security Plan form, and Affidavits of Nondisclosure in hard copy to IES after receiving an initial review of the online Formal Request.
  • The Licensee is responsible for all terms and provisions in the License and the Security Plan.
  • Under no circumstances may restricted-use data, in any form, be removed or telecommunicated from the Licensee's secure project office.
  • Licensees are subject to unannounced, unscheduled inspections to assess compliance with security requirements.
  • Violations of the confidentiality provisions (Section 183) of the Education Science Reform Act, as incorporated in the License, subject the Licensee to possible prosecution for a class E felony and imprisonment for up to five years, and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

All new Restricted-Use License Applications should use the standard application process (SAP) portal available at: