The data analyzed in this report came from the First and Second Follow-ups of the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study1 (B&B:93/94 and B&B:93/97), a study that tracks the experiences of a cohort of college graduates who received baccalaureate degrees during the 199293 academic year and were first interviewed as part of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:93). This group's experiences in the areas of academic enrollments, degree completions, employment, public service, and other adult decisions have been followed through 1997. The data derived from this survey provide critical information about college graduates' postsecondary education outcomes, including graduate and professional program access, labor market experience, and rates of return on investment in education.
The B&B:93/94 survey was the first follow-up interview of NPSAS:93 participants who received their bachelors degrees between July 1992 and June 1993. Of 12,500 NPSAS:93 respondents who were identified as potentially eligible for the first follow-up survey, about 1,500 were determined to be ineligible. About 10,000 eligible individuals completed the 1994 interview.
The B&B:93/97 survey is the second follow-up interview of the B&B cohort. The first follow-up interview (B&B:93/94) collected information from respondents 1 year after they received the bachelors degree; the second follow-up (B&B:93/97) collected data 4 years after they received the bachelors degree. Data collection for B&B:93/97 took place between April and December 1997. Approximately 11,000 individuals in the B&B cohort were determined eligible for follow-up in 1997. For the second followup, the number of interviews completed was about 10,000, yielding a response rate of 90 percent. About 9,000 individuals (83 percent of the sample) responded to all three rounds of the B&B study. Referred to as "the B&B panel sample," these respondents became the base sample of the analyses presented in this report.
The NPSAS:93 sample, while representative and statistically accurate, was not a simple random sample. Instead, the survey sample was selected using a more complex three-step procedure with stratified samples and differential probabilities of selection at each level. Postsecondary institutions were initially selected within geographic strata. Once institutions were organized by zip code and state, they were further stratified by control (i.e., public; private, not-for-profit; or private, for-profit) and degree offering (less-than-2-year, 2- to 3-year, 4-year nondoctorate-granting, and 4-year doctorate- granting).2
For more information about the NPSAS:93 survey, refer to the Methodology Report for the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 199293 (NCES 95211, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1995).
For more information on procedures for the Baccalaureate and Beyond First Follow-up Study (B&B:93/94), consult the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study: 1993/94 Methodology Report (NCES 96149, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1996).
B&B:93/97 final weights were calculated by making a nonresponse adjustment to the baseline B&B weight calculated for the sample eligible for B&B:93/94 and later follow-up studies. This baseline B&B weight is an adjustment of the baseline NPSAS:93 weight. All analyses in this report are weighted to compensate for unequal probability of selection into the B&B sample and to adjust for nonresponse. The B&B panel weight, based on respondents who participated in all three surveys, is used in the report. A complete description of the weighting methodology is available in the methodology reports cited above.