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Title:  Course Credit Accrual and Dropping Out of High School, by Student Characteristics
Description: This Statistics in Brief uses data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) to examine the number of credits earned by high school students and the relationship between course credit accrual and dropping out. Findings indicate that high school dropouts earned fewer credits than did on-time graduates within each year of high school, and the cumulative course credit accrual gap increased with each subsequent year. The pattern of dropouts earning fewer credits than on-time graduates remained across all examined student and school characteristics (student sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, school location, and sophomore class size). However, the size of the cumulative course credit accrual gap between on-time graduates and dropouts varied within academic years for males versus females, Blacks and Hispanics versus Whites, and students attending city high schools versus students attending suburban, town, and rural high schools. For example, the cumulative gap between on-time graduates and 12th-grade dropouts in 2001-02 and 2002-03 was larger for males than for females, indicating that male 12th-grade dropouts were further behind their on-time peers in cumulative course credits accrued than were female 12th-grade dropouts.

This Brief replaces "Course Credit Accrual and Dropping Out of High School" (NCES 2007-018).
Online Availability:
Cover Date: February 2009
Web Release: February 3, 2009
Publication #: NCES 2009035
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Center/Program: NCES
Authors: Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Siri Warkentien, and Bruce Daniel
Type of Product: Statistics in Brief
Survey/Program Areas: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS)
High School Transcript Studies (HST)
Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistics in Brief, please contact:
Lisa Hudson.
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National Center for Education Statistics -
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