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National Household Education Survey (NHES)

Component ID: #ti1552711991

The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) provides descriptive data on the educational activities of the U.S. population and offers researchers, educators, and policymakers a variety of statistics on the condition of education in the United States.

The NHES surveys cover learning at all ages, from early childhood to school age through adulthood. The most recent data collection in 2016 consisted of three topical surveys: Parent and Family Involvement (PFI) in Education, Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP), and Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES).

If you have been asked to participate in this survey, this site will help you verify that the survey came from the Census Bureau, verify that the person who called or came to your door is a Census Bureau employee, and inform you of how we protect your data.

Component ID: #ti1189748549

Overview

The National Household Education Survey (NHES) provides up-to-date information on the educational needs for people in the United States.  The chief goal of the NHES is to describe Americans’ educational experiences, thereby offering policymakers, researchers, and educators a variety of statistics on the condition of education in the United States. To monitor educational trends over time, NHES conducts repeated measurements of the same phenomena in different years. The NHES has also fielded one-time surveys on topics of interest to the Department of Education.

The NHES has been conducted approximately every other year from 1991 to 2016. There was a 5-year gap in data collection between 2007 and 2012 when the NHES switched from a telephone survey to a mail survey. The most recent collection of NHES was in 2016, and it will be conducted on a three-year-cycle, with the next collection in 2019.

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Why is this survey important?

This survey is the only way that the Department of Education can learn about children's early care and education and students' schooling, from your perspective. The results will help policymakers, researchers, and educators understand the educational needs of our diverse population in changing times. You represent thousands of other households like yours, and you cannot be replaced.

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What is the legal authority for conducting this survey?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education, is authorized to conduct this survey by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA 2002, 20 U.S.C. §9543).

The OMB approval number for this survey is 1850-0768.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts this survey on behalf of the NCES.

Component ID: #ti874371892

Why was I selected to be in this survey?

Your address was randomly selected from among all of the home addresses in the nation, using scientific sampling methods. The sample is designed so that surveys of only a few thousand people will accurately describe the educational experiences of all Americans.

Component ID: #ti1951235113

How can I respond to this survey?

You can respond in one of the following ways:

  • Completing the paper form mailed to you
  • Completing via the web survey (only if selected to be a web respondent)
  • By phone

You can get help by calling our toll-free number at 1-888-840-8353.  You may also email us at NHES@census.gov.

Component ID: #ti381682088

How long will it take to complete this survey?

The time required to complete the NHES information collection is estimated to average between 3 and 23 minutes, including the time to review instructions, search existing data resources, gather the data needed, and complete and review the information collection.

Component ID: #ti485053912

How can I verify that the person contacting me is a Census Bureau employee?

If you have received a letter requesting you to participate in the survey, a Census Bureau employee may contact you to remind you to complete the survey by telephone. He or she will always provide you with his or her name and interviewer code to confirm employment with the Census Bureau.

To protect your privacy, the National Household Education Survey NEVER asks for:

  • your Social Security number
  • your personal information via email
  • money or donations
  • credit card information

You can verify the legitimacy of a call from the Census Bureau by visiting:

Component ID: #ti936604961

What if this survey is not relevant to my situation?

If you feel you received the NHES in error, please contact the Census Bureau toll-free at 1-888-840-8353 or by emailing at nhes@census.gov.

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Is participation mandatory?

While there is no penalty for not responding, a high response rate is very important to the success of the survey. Your answers and opinions are very important the success of this study.

When you respond to the National Household Education Survey, you are helping your community and the nation. Your answers, combined with others, become the statistics used to make informed decisions about early care and education, students' schooling, and adult training and education. Those who do not complete the survey will not be represented in key statistics used by policymakers and researchers.

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Can I be identified by my responses?

All of the information you provide may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151).

More information on how your privacy is respected is available here.

Component ID: #ti840886825

How do I know my responses are safe?

The responses that are collected from surveys conducted by the Census Bureau are encrypted both in transit and at rest on the Census Bureau’s servers. These servers are part of a stand-alone network that is not accessible by the Internet. These servers are constantly monitored for any attempts at intrusion.

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Where can I find the statistics produced by this survey?

The Department of Education wants to understand the condition of education in the United States. This survey is the only way that the Department of Education can learn about schooling from your perspective. Your responses will be combined with those from other households to inform educators, policymakers, schools and universities about changes in the condition of education in the United States.

This website contains all public-use NHES data from 1991 through the most recently released data in flat (ASCII) data files and the installation (setup) files for SAS, SPSS, and STATA.

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What if I have additional questions, recommendations, or issues that I need resolved?

If you have been selected to participate in the survey and you wish to speak to someone, please contact our telephone centers at 1-888-840-8353. The U.S. Census Bureau is also available to answer your questions via e-mail at nhes@census.gov.

If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate, suggestions for improving this collection, or comments or concerns about the contents or the status of your individual submission of this questionnaire, please e-mail: nhes@census.gov, or write directly to: National Household Education Survey (NHES), National Center for Education Statistics, Potomac Center Plaza, 550 12th Street SW, Room #4010, Washington, DC 20202.

The Census Bureau has a web page “Are You In A Survey” designed to answer additional questions you might have about being in a Census survey.

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