Data Sharing

Data Sharing

Requesting Data from DHE

Please follow the process outlined below for requesting data from the Colorado Department of Higher Education. This process only addresses data requests for legitimate educational research purposes. For an Open Records Request, please contact DHE front desk (303-862-3001) to be put in contact with the appropriate staff member.


NOTICE: From JANUARY 1 THROUGH APRIL 30, we are unable to accept data requests due to the demands of the legislative session and reporting requirements.





Set up design meeting after request is made

Happens every two weeks on Monday

Data agreement signed by both parties

1 - 3 weeks

Data pull containing one dataset (e.g. HS Graduates OR Enrollment OR Degrees)

1 - 4 weeks

Data pull containing multiple datasets (e.g. HS Graduates AND Enrollment AND Degrees)

1 - 6 weeks

Schedule time to review data and send to customer

Happens every two weeks on Monday

For more information about Data Sharing, please contact

In Action

  • Examples of a data agreement
  • Currently Active data agreements
  • Researches from our data sharing
  • Data Destruction Form


Data and Staff Limitations, Data Compliance

  • Please read our Privacy, Confidentiality and Data Sharing Policy. Submitting a request for data serves as acknowledgement of and agreement to adhere to this policy.
  • DHE must comply with all existing data sharing agreements with state agency partnerships, institutions and other data sources. Certain data elements may be unavailable, suppressed, or perturbed to comply with these agreements.
  • DHE staff resources dedicated to data sharing are limited and give preferential attention to internal research projects, state agency partnerships, RFPs, and legislatively required reporting.
  • Student unit record datasets will be de-identified or anonymized.

What you can expect after you complete this form

  • You will receive a reply within two weeks. If you are approved to receive data, someone from our office will create a Data Agreement and send the agreement to you.
  • You will need to have your agreement signed by a designated signatory for your organization. Examples include Deans of schools, Associate Directors, Deputy Directors, etc. We require a signature from someone who has authority to speak on behalf of the organization/institution.
  • Once we receive a signed copy we will have the Data Agreement countersigned. This may take two to three weeks.
  • Copies of the completed Data Agreement will be provided to each party and the data pull will be initiated.
  • Completing a data pull may take three to six weeks, depending on variables requested, number of years data are requested for, and the current number of projects being handled by the department.
    • If your data request requires that you send us data, such as list of students to match, please prepare your data by following these guidelines:
      1. DO NOT EMAIL ANY DATASET TO US! Email is not a secure way to transfer data. We will provide you a secure way to upload your file.
      2. Use a structured format, such as an Excel or delimited file. Delimitation may be comma, semi-colon, tab, vertical bar.
        • Note: If you data contains characters also used as the delimiter, columns must be text
      3. Organize data fields/attribute in their lowest level of detail. For example, separate First Name and Last Name rather than combining into a Full Name column. Combining values can delay the data request and may require you to resubmit the file.
        • Example:
          • Column 1 - ID
          • Column 2 - First Name
          • Column 3 - Last Name
  • Data will be shared through the secure DHE web portal. If you are a member of a research institution (as determined at the discretion of the department), you will be able to access the data outside of the office. If you are not considered a member of a research institution, you will be provided a workspace at the physical DHE office. You will not be able to access data outside the DHE office.
  • One month prior to the end of your Data Agreement, you will be reminded to destroy your data upon the expiration of the agreement. If you believe you will need access to the data for longer than the originally agreed upon timeline, you may request an addendum extending your deadline by up to six months, at which point you may request another addendum as deemed necessary.
  • Upon completion of your research/work, you will provide a copy of the report to the DHE and may be asked to present on your findings. At the discretion of the department, you may also be asked to provide progress reports and updates while you are still working with the data. Upon expiration of the agreement, you will also destroy the data and notify our office that you have done so.

FAQ on data sharing

  • Q: What is the timeline for receiving my dataset?
    Once you contact our office, you can expect to receive a Data Agreement for your organization to sign within two weeks of your request. Once we receive the signed copy, it may take two to three weeks to have the data agreement countersigned and then an additional three to six weeks to provide the data requested. The entire process may take six to eleven weeks.
  • Q: Would you prefer electronic signature or paper signature?
    You may send an electronic signature, but we eventually store a final paper copy, too.
  • Q: Can more than one person at my organization have access to the data?
    The agreement will be with your organization so multiple people can access the data.
  • Q: I don’t know which variables to select. Can I just have all of the data?
    No. We limit datasets to what variables you will need for your study. However, we are happy to help you select variables for your dataset if you tell us more about your study.
  • Q: If I decide I need additional variables later, can I request them?
    No. We ask you to include all the variables you need. Data pulls take a great deal of time and any additional variables may not be covered by your Data Agreement. Please let us know if you need help determining what to request.