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Projections of Education Statistics to 2016
NCES 2008-060
December 2007

Section 4. Degrees Conferred: Accuracy of Projections

An analysis of projection errors from the past 10 editions of Projections of Education Statistics indicates that the mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs) for associate's degree projections were 2.3 percent for 1 year out, 3.0 percent for 2 years out, 6.0 percent for 5 years out, and 14.8 percent for 10 years out. The MAPEs for bachelor's degree projections were 0.9, 2.0, 6.0, and 11.2 percent, respectively, for lead times of 1, 2, 5, and 10 years out. The MAPEs for master's degrees were 1.6, 3.9, 12.3, and 19.8 percent, respectively. For doctor's degrees, the MAPEs were 2.6, 4.3, 4.1, and 4.5 percent, respectively. For first-professional degrees, the MAPEs were 1.3, 1.4, 5.6, and 12.4 percent, respectively.

NCES projections of degrees by level produced over the last 10 years have been less accurate than NCES projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment produced over the same period. For more information on the MAPEs of different NCES projection series, see table A-2 in appendix A.


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