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Projections of Education Statistics to 2014, published September 2005.

Appendix A. Projection Methodology: Degrees Conferred

Projections of associateís, bachelorís, masterís, doctorís, and first professional degrees by sex were based on demographic models that relate degree awards to college age populations and college enrollment by level enrolled and attendance status.

Associate's Degrees

Associateís degree projections by sex were based on a weighted average over the last 2 years of undergraduate enrollment by attendance status in 2 year institutions and sex relative to the 18- to 24-year-old population by sex. The previous year is weighted two-thirds, and 2 years back is weighted one-third. Results of the regression analysis used to project associateís degrees by sex are shown in table A15.

Bachelor's Degrees

Bachelorís degree projections by sex were based on a weighted average over the last 4 years of undergraduate enrollment by attendance status in 4 year institutions and sex relative to the 18- to 24-year-old population by sex. The weights for the previous 4 yearsó0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.1ógive more weight to the most recent years. Results of the regression analysis used to project bachelorís degrees by sex are shown in table A15. For some years, projections of undergraduate enrollment from the middle alternative projections were greater than those from the high alternative projections. (See page 92.) Hence, for some years, projections of bachelorís degrees from the middle alternative projections are greater than those from the high alternative projections.

Master's Degrees

Masterís degree projections by sex were based on a weighted average over the last 2 years of graduate enrollment by attendance status and sex relative to the 25- to 34-year-old population by sex. The previous year is weighted two-thirds, and 2 years back is weighted one-third. Results of the regression analysis used to project masterís degrees by sex are shown in table A15. For some years, projections of graduate enrollment from the middle alternative projections were greater than those from the high alternative projections. (See page 92.) Hence, for some years, projections of masterís degrees from the middle alternative projections are greater than those from the high alternative projections.

Doctor's Degrees

Doctorís degree projections by sex were based on a weighted average over the last 4 years of graduate enrollment by attendance status and sex relative to the 5- to 44-year old population by sex. The weights for the previous 4 yearsó0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.1ógive more weight to the most recent years. The results of the regression analysis used to project doctorís degrees by sex are shown in table A15.

First Professional Degrees

First professional degree projections by sex were based on a weighted average over the last 3 years of first professional enrollment by attendance status in 4 year institutions and sex relative to the 25- to 34-year-old population by sex. The weights for the previous 3 yearsó0.5, 0.33, and 0.17ógive more weight to the most recent years. Results of the regression analysis used to project first professional degrees by sex are shown in table A15.

Methodological Tables

These tables describe equations used to calculate projections (table A15), and basic assumptions underlying projections (table A16).

Projection Accuracy

An analysis of projection errors from similar models used in the past eight editions of Projections of Education Statistics indicates that mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs) for associateís degrees were 2.5 percent for 1 year out, 2.9 percent for 2 years out, and 5.6 percent for 5 years out. For the 1-year-out prediction, this means that one would expect the projection to be within 2.5 percent of the actual value, on average. MAPEs for bachelorís degree projections were 1.0 percent for 1 year out, 2.0 percent for 2 years out, and 5.7 percent for 5 years out. MAPEs for masterís degrees were 1.2, 4.1, and 11.3 percent, respectively. For doctorís degrees, the MAPEs were 2.2, 3.5, and 2.5 percent, respectively. For first professional degrees, the MAPEs were 1.3, 1.3, and 5.5 percent, respectively. For more information on the MAPEs, see table A2.

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