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National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88)

Data Products

NELS:88 has recently added an online downloading tool, called EDAT, to provide users access to NELS:88/92, NELS:88/94 and NELS:88/00 Public-use data files.

Click on the "EDAT" link above to access EDAT.

Users of EDAT are encouraged to PRINT OUT the "EDAT User's Guide".  This Guide provides directions for using EDAT. EDAT's advantages over the CD-Rom for Public-Use data:

  • EDAT does everything the CD-Rom version did, and you only need to download the data file once. You may download new syntax files to run your analyses as many times as you need.
  • EDAT allows you to download syntax files for more programming languages, for more flexibility of analysis. Choose from SPSS, Stata, SAS, R, S-Plus, SUDAAN, ASCII or CSV formats.

Restricted Use Data Files*

CD-Rom:  NELS:88/2000  Restricted Use Data Files and Electronic Codebook 
Base year through Fourth follow-up - Request this file if you plan to study students for the period 1988 to 2000. 
(NCES 2003-348; Release Date:  February 2003) 

CD-Rom:   NELS:88/94 Public Use Data Files and Electronic codebooks
March 1996  - Request this file if you plan to study students for the period 1988 to 1992 or 1988 to 1994.


Additional NELS:88 restricted-use Supplemental CDs

CD-Rom:  Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS)
Contains information from postsecondary transcripts for NELS:88 respondents who went on to earn credits in higher education.   This CD is most often used with the NELS:88/2000 restricted use CD.
(NCES 2004-401; Release Date:  October 2004)

CD-Rom:  PETS Supplemental Variables
Contains composite and derived variables  that were created from the PETS file. This CD is most often used with the PETS or NELS:88/2000 restricted file.
(Release Date, June 2004)

CD-Rom:  Student Level Residential Census Data  (Residential Zip Code linkage)
Contains Census information at the Zip Code level for NELS:88 respondents . This file does not contain actual zip code. This file can be merged to the NELS:88/92 restricted-use file.
(Release Date:  August 1997)

CD-Rom:  High school GPA and coursework analysis file
Contains high school GPA and coursework (e.g., highest math course taken variables).
(Release Date, January 2010)

CD-Rom:   High School Effectiveness Study
Contains information on a subset (sample of NELS:88 students and additional sampled students) that can be used to study school effectiveness between 10th and 12th grades.
(Release Date: January 2003)

*ACCESS to RESTRICTED DATA - Only NCES licensed users can obtain the above restricted files.  To obtain information on obtaining a restricted license, click here.

NOTE:  See Appendix B in "Base-year to Fourth Follow-up Data File user’s Manual" (NCES 2002-323) for a description of NELS:88 data files.   Other restricted files are identified in this appendix User’s Manual PDF File (128 KB).