Findings of Longitudinal Study on Low-Income College Graduates Published
For Immediate Release: February 2008
Under a contract with the Jobs for the Future (JFF), Optimal Researchers, Adam Bickford Ph.D. and Grace Hong, Ph.D. analyzed data from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) to track the educational progress of approximately 25,000 eighth graders over 12 years, from 1998 to 2000. The results of the analysis were recently used in an article titled “Doing the Math: What It Means to Double the Number of Low-Income College Graduates” by Susan Goldberger of JFF. The article is a chapter in Minding the Gap: Why Integrating High School with College Makes Sense and How to Do It, edited by Nancy Hoffman et al. and published by Harvard Education Press.
The article identified leaks in the education pipeline that lead to a low rate of post-secondary degree attainment among low-income youth, and examined the numeric targets along the pipeline that must be met to double the number of low-income people who earn an associate or bachelor’s degree within the next ten years. Optimal Solutions Group conducted the analysis using variables from the NELS student survey and the high school and college transcript files. The restricted-use version of the NELS data was used in the analysis to allow linkage between student survey records and transcript records.
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