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Title:  Trends Among High School Seniors, 1972-2004
Description: Using questionnaire and transcript data collected in 1972, 1980, 1982, 1992, and 2004, this report presents information on five cohorts of high school seniors. The analysis addresses overall trends, as well as trends within various subgroups defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). Key findings of the report include the following: The proportion of Black seniors who were in the highest SES quartile doubled from 1972 to 1992 (from 5 percent to 10 percent), and increased overall from 5 percent in 1972 to 14 percent in 2004. The percentage of seniors enrolling in calculus during their senior year grew from 6 percent to 13 percent between 1982 and 2004. The percentage of seniors taking no mathematics courses during their senior year declined from 57 percent to 34 percent over this time period. Seniors increased their senior-year enrollment in advanced science courses (chemistry II, physics II, and advanced biology) from 12 percent in 1982 to 25 percent in 2004. In each class of seniors, most of those who planned further schooling intended to attend four-year postsecondary schools, with the proportion of students planning to attend four-year schools rising from 34 percent in 1972 to 61 percent in 2004. In all years, higher percentages of Asian high school seniors, and lower percentages of Hispanic seniors (except in 1992), compared to other racial/ethnic groups, planned attendance at four-year institutions No difference was observed between 1972 and 2004 between the percentage of seniors expecting a bachelorís degree as their highest level of education. Instead, growth between these two time points was greatest in expectations for a graduate or professional degree: 13 percent of seniors expected to attain this level of education as their highest in 1972, compared to 38 percent of seniors in 2004. In 1972, males expected to earn a graduate degree as their highest educational level in greater proportions than did females (16 percent versus 9 percent); however, in 2004, females expected to earn a graduate degree more often than males (45 percent versus 32 percent). Seniors increasingly expected to work in professional occupations (growing from 45 percent of seniors in 1972 to 63 percent of seniors in 2004 expecting to work in a professional field).
Online Availability:
Cover Date: May 2008
Web Release: June 24, 2008
Print Release: This Publication will only be available online.
Publication #: NCES 2008320
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: NCES
Authors: Steven J. Ingels Ben Dalton
Type of Product: Statistical Analysis Report
Survey/Program Areas: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS)
High School and Beyond (HS&B)
High School Transcript Studies (HST)
National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88)
National Longitudinal Study of the H.S. Class of 1972 (NLS-72)
Keywords:
Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistical Analysis Report, please contact:
Elise Christopher.
 
 
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education