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About Postsecondary Education Transcript Collections

Transcript data provide researchers with an important analytic resource, creating opportunities to study course-taking patterns, credit transfer, student momentum and attrition, and the connection among course and major choices, occupations, and wages. Six NCES longitudinal studies have collected postsecondary transcripts, beginning with the National Longitudinal Study of 1972, the transcripts for which were collected in 1984.

The two most recent NCES studies to contain transcript data are the Beginning Postsescondary Students Study of 2004/2009 (BPS:04/09), and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Study of 2008 (B&B:08). Transcript data for both studies will be released in 2012, both through the NCES restricted data program, and to the public, through PowerStats (, an NCES web-based statistical tool. The first study contains transcripts for all institutions attended by BPS study members, while the second, Baccalaureate and Beyond, contains transcripts for the institution that awarded the bachelorís degree. NCES anticipates that three additional longitudinal studies now underway, or planned, will also collect and code transcript data. Studies with postsecondary education transcript collections include:

Year of Transcript Collection Data source
1984 NSL:72
1993 HS&B:80
1994 B&B:93/03
2000 NELS:88
2010 BPS:04/09
2010 B&B:08
Anticipated ELS:02
Anticipated HSLS:09
Anticipated BPS:12/17

The amount of detail in transcript collection varies depending on the study. Some studies, such as NELS:88, BPS:04/09, and B&B:08 have detailed course, term, and institution records. Other transcript collections were used to verify interview data collected from the students in the study, e.g. (B&B:93/03). For more information on NCES's other transcript collections see and

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