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Analyzing the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009


Highlights

  • The Institute of Education Sciences wanted to glean more insight from its High School Longitudinal Study of 2009
  • Abt conducted exploratory analyses of the HSLS:09 data.
  • Abt is producing a series of brief reports on key insights gleaned from the study.
The Challenge

The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is conducting the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), a national study of more than 23,000 students who were in ninth grade in 2009. Students answered surveys between 2009 and 2016, and college transcripts were collected in 2017-18. AnLar and Abt Associates were contracted to provide insights from the study to families, education professionals, and policymakers and catalyze interest in participating in future NCES longitudinal studies.

The Approach

In close collaboration with NCES and AnLar, Abt researchers identified several topics in the latest waves of the HSLS:09 that address issues of keen public interest. Abt conducted exploratory analyses on the HSLS:09 data and distilled these findings into a handful of key insights. Abt then summarized these insights in plain language and illustrated them with clear charts in accessible two-page briefs.

The Results

This brief report authored by Abt researchers looks at the connection between students’ views of college affordability in high school and their subsequent college enrollment or employment three years after high school. Abt found:

  • Students are more likely to attend college within three years of high school if they think their family can afford it.
  • Students are also more likely to attend any college within three years of high school if at least one of their parents earned a college degree or certificate.
  • Eighty percent of those who believed their family could afford college attended, compared to 59 percent of those who did not think their family could afford college.
  • Within each level of parental education, larger percentages of students who believed their family could afford college attended college, while smaller percentages of students who did not think their family could afford college attended.

Abt is working on a second brief report on high school counseling and college financial aid.