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Disaggregate: Individual or family military status


Whether a student, parent, or spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces (including the reserves or National Guard)

Why it matters

Children and spouses of active military members relocate frequently, creating challenges for students navigating different school systems and military spouses seeking stable employment. Military veterans also experience disability at disproportionately high rates, with 26 percent of veterans reporting a service-connected disability in 2020, thus creating obstacles to workforce reentry. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires K–12 schools to disaggregate data for students who have parents or guardians in the military.

What to know about measurement

W systems frequently collect information on individual or family military status. K–12 systems track whether a student’s family is in the military. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks students to report if they are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) asks institutions to report data on students receiving military service member and veteran benefits. The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) collects information on a student’s status as either a veteran receiving benefits, a veteran who does not receive benefits, or a veteran’s dependent receiving benefits (though as an optional field, it is seldom reported). Federally funded workforce programs collect information on whether someone is a veteran or eligible spouse, and employees may also self-identify as a veteran to employers.

Source frameworks

This disaggregate appeared in three source frameworks reviewed for this report: the California Cradle-to-Career Data System, the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s Higher Education in Prison Key Performance Indicator Framework, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reporting requirements.


The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.

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