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Projections of Education Statistics to 2021

NCES 2013-008
January 2013

Introduction to Projection Methodology: Postsecondary Degrees Conferred

Projections in this edition

This edition of Projections of Education Statistics presents projections  of postsecondary degrees conferred by level of degree and sex of recipient for 2010-11 through 2021-22.

Overview of approach

Basic approach

Projections of associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees for men and women were produced using forecasting equations that relate degrees conferred to full-time enrollment in degree-granting institutions by sex, student level (undergraduate or postbaccalaureate), and institution level (2-year or 4-year).

Degrees Conferred Model

Procedures used to project degrees

For all degree levels, projections of degrees conferred were made separately for men and for women. The projections for men and women were then summed to get projections of the total number of degrees.

Multiple linear regression was used to project associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees based on enrollment variables for men and women. The enrollment variables used for the different levels of degrees are briefly described below.

For details and results of the regression analyses used to project associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees, see table A-30, under "Data and equations used to project degrees," later in this section.

Associate's degrees. Projections were based on full-time undergraduate enrollment in 2-year institutions by sex. Men's projections of associate's degrees were based on current full-time enrollment and full-time enrollment lagged 2 years. Women's projections of associate's degrees were based on current full-time enrollment and full-time enrollment lagged 1 and 2 years.

Bachelor's degrees. Projections were based on full-time undergraduate enrollment in 4-year institutions by sex. For men and for women, bachelor's degree projections were based on current full-time enrollment and full-time enrollment lagged 2 years.

Master's degrees. Projections were based on full-time postbaccalaureate enrollment by sex. Men's projections of master's degrees were based on current full-time enrollment and full-time enrollment lagged 1 year. Women's projections of master's degrees were based on current full-time enrollment.

Doctor's degrees. Projections were based on full-time postbaccalaureate enrollment by sex. For men and for women, doctor's degree projections were based on current full-time postbaccalaureate enrollment and full-time postbaccalaureate enrollment lagged 1 and 2 years.

Data and equations used to project degrees

Enrollment data and projections for degree-granting institutions. Historical enrollment data by sex, level of student, and level of institution came from the NCES Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For the time period used for each level of degree, see table A-30 on page 139. The enrollment projections used are those produced for this edition of Projections of Education Statistics. For more information about the enrollment projections, see Section A.5. Enrollment in Postsecondary Degree-Granting Institutions, earlier in this appendix.

Data on degrees awarded at all levels. Historical data by level of degree and sex of recipient came from the NCES Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). All degrees were projected using data for 1980-81 to 2009-10.

Estimated equations and model statistics. For details on the equations used to project associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees, see table A-30 on page 139. The equations shown were selected on the basis of their statistical properties, such as coefficients of determination (R2s), the t-statistics of the coefficients, the Durbin-Watson statistic, the Breusch-Godfrey Serial Correlation LM test statistic, and residual plots.

Accuracy of projections

No  MAPEs were calculated for  degrees conferred because, for associate's and  bachelor' degrees, the current models for producing the  projections have  been  used  for only three other editions of Projections of Education  Statistics, and for  master's and doctor's degrees, there  have been substantial changes in  the  data.

For more information about MAPEs, see Section A.0. Introduction, earlier in this appendix.

For more information, see Table A-30.

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