NCES Blog

National Center for Education Statistics

New Data from the 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study

Seventy-two percent of all undergraduate students received some type of financial aid, including loans, in the 2015–16 academic year. For those who received aid, the average was about $12,300 per student. If you want to explore more statistics on student financial aid, you can! NCES has released new data from the 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16). Data users have the ability to generate estimates and perform their own analyses using our online data analysis tools available in DataLab. Users can select the tool that best meets their needs, including PowerStats, QuickStats, and TrendStats.

NPSAS is the most comprehensive nationally representative study of how students and their families finance postsecondary education in the United States. The NPSAS:16 sample consisted of approximately 113,000 undergraduate and graduate students attending 1,800 postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

In addition to information on financial aid, the study collects data on many other topics, such as student demographics, total and net prices of attendance, education-related debt, major field of study, employment while enrolled, and participation in remedial education.

To enhance the data and address emerging policy issues, NCES has also included new and expanded items on these topics in NPSAS:16:

  • Financial literacy, including questions to measure understanding of key financial concepts such as inflation, interest rates, and investment, plus questions on the possible consequences for failing to repay federal student loans;
  • Alternative repayment options for federal loans, including awareness of and plans to use income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness;
  • Student veterans and military students, including an oversample of student veterans, measures of federal veterans’ education benefits derived from administrative sources, indicators of whether institutions offer programs targeted to veterans and military students, and new measures of state and institution aid specifically for student veterans; and
  • Study abroad, including the location and duration of time spent abroad.

A First Look report, which was released in January, highlighted key findings from the study. For more information on how the study was planned and conducted, including extensive details on sampling, data collection, response rates, weighting, and other topics, we encourage you to see the 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16) Data File Documentation report.

By Tracy Hunt-White

NCES Researchers to Give Presentations and Trainings at the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting

NCES staff will give 14 presentations during the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2018 Annual Meeting on topics ranging from Peer Victimization and Digital Learning to Higher Education and International Comparisons. The meeting takes place from April 12 to 17 and NCES staff will share their expertise in both research presentations and training sessions.

AERA is the nation’s largest professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education, and its annual meeting is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research.

The research presentations and training sessions involving NCES staff are listed below. In addition, the NCES booth will be featured at the exhibit hall where attendees can “ask an NCES expert,” learn how NCES data can support their research, or pick up publications and products.

 

Follow us throughout the conference on twitter using @EdNCES and the hashtag #AERA2018.

 

We hope you’ll join us whether in New York or online! A listing of all presentations by NCES staff is shown below. The first three sessions listed are trainings. Registration for the trainings is still open, but space is limited.

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 12

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Training: Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011) at NCES by Jim McCarroll

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Flatiron Room


Training: Analyzing Data from International Large-Scale Assessment Using R by Emmanuel Sikali

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Bowery Room

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 13

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Training: Using NAEP Data on the Web for Educational Policy Research by Emmanuel Sikali

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Chelsea Room

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Feasibility of Collecting School-Level Finance Data by Stephen Cornman

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Rendezvous Trianon

Roundtable: Use of Research Evidence in the Era of the Every Student Succeeds Act
 

A Cross-National Comparison of Teacher Attrition in the United States and the Netherlands International Teachers by Lauren Musu-Gillette

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom              

Roundtable: International Teachers

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 14

10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. 

Relationships Between Peer Victimization and Children's Academic Performance in Third Grade by Lauren Musu-Gillette

Crowne Plaza Times Square, Room 1503

Paper Session: Early Childhood Social-Emotional Issues
 

4:05 p.m. – 6:05 p.m.

Career Opportunities Outside Academe and Consultation Allowing Educational Research and Influences on National Policies: The Ronald D. Henderson Topical Table by Peggy Carr

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom

Panel Discussion

 

Implications of Study Findings for the Use of Multimedia-enhanced Stimuli in Assessments by Jing Chen

NCME, Westin New York at Times Square, Room TBD

Symposium: Towards Understanding the Facilitators and Inhibitors in Writing Tasks Containing Multimedia-Enhanced Stimuli

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 15th

8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

An Overview of Findings from PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and ePIRLS 2016 by Peggy Carr

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016
 

U.S. Achievement on PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) in the Context of NAEP Fourth Grade Reading Achievement by Eunice Greer

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016

 

A Deeper Look at PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and ePIRLS 2016 Results: Status and Trends by Sheila Thompson

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016
 

10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

National Academy of Education Report on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments by Peggy Carr

New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Nassau Suite B

Invited speaker

10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

Meet the Institute of Education Sciences Leadership by James Lynn Woodworth, National Center for Education Statistics/IES, U.S. Department of Education

New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Murray Hill Room West

Invited speaker

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Statistics in the Age of Ed Tech: Seeking a Deeper Understanding of America’s Digital Divide by Tom Synder

New York Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Harlem

Panel discussion

 

Statistics in the Age of Ed Tech: Seeking a Deeper Understanding of America’s Digital Divide by Halima Adenegan

New York Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Harlem

Panel Discussion

 

MONDAY, APRIL 16th

8:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

A New Option to Identify Neighborhood Poverty Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts by Douglas Geverdt

Westin New York at Times Square, Ninth Floor, Pearl Room

Symposium: Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts

Serving as Discussant William Ward

Westin New York at Tim Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Symposium: Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts

12:25 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.

State Capacity for Data Use: Findings on the Development and Implementation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems by Nancy Sharkey

New York Hilton Midtown, Fourth Floor, New York Suite

Paper Session: Examining the Capacity for Data Use

 

NCES Welcomes a New Commissioner

We are excited to welcome Dr. James Lynn Woodworth to his new position as Commissioner of NCES. Dr. Woodworth comes to the Center with a range of experience in the field of education. Before joining NCES, Dr. Woodworth worked as lead quantitative research analyst at the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. His areas of research include charter schools, online education, and school closures.

Prior to his work at CREDO, Dr. Woodworth served as a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a doctorate in Education Policy. Dr. Woodworth also has a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in music education. He was a public high school teacher for 11 years before pursuing a research career.

The experiences of our nation’s young children from kindergarten through fourth grade

By Jill Carlivati McCarroll and Gail M. Mulligan

In 2014–15, boys had higher fourth-grade math scores than girls, but no significant differences were found in boys’ versus girls’ fourth-grade reading knowledge and skills. These findings come from the most recent data release for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011). A recently released report provides a first look at the status of students who were in kindergarten for the first time during the 2010-11 school year and were in fourth grade in 2014-15. The longitudinal nature of this study allows for a comparison of trends over time. For example, differences in math scores between boys and girls were also observed in third grade but not in earlier grades. No significant differences in reading results for boys and girls have been detected in any grade between kindergarten and fourth. More data on assessment scores, as well as the demographic and family characteristics of the cohort of students who were first-time kindergartners in 2010-11, are available in the reports.

The series of Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies are consistently some of the most popular NCES studies due in large part to the fact that they provide comprehensive and reliable data on important topics such as child development, school readiness, and early school experiences. The ECLS-K:2011 was designed to provide data that can be used to describe and to better understand children’s development and experiences in the elementary grades, and how children’s early experiences relate to their later development, learning, and experiences in school. The study is longitudinal, meaning that it followed the same group of children over time; in the case of the ECLS-K:2011, children were followed from their kindergarten year (the 2010-11 school year) until the spring of 2016, when most of the children were in the fifth grade.

All planned waves of data through fifth grade have been collected and staff at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) are hard at work releasing reports of the findings as well as the data from all rounds of the study. Researchers, educators, policy makers, and other interested members of the public now have access to much of the important data from the ECLS-K:2011, with additional reports and data releases on their way.

The diverse sample of children who participated in the ECLS-K:2011 is nationally representative of students who were in kindergarten in U.S. schools in the 2010-11 school year. Information on children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development was collected every year using direct child assessments and surveys for the adults central to the children’s education. Adults surveyed for the study included the children’s parents/guardians, their teachers, their school administrators, and their kindergarten before- and after-school care providers. Topics covered by the surveys included the children’s home environment, home educational activities, school environment, classroom environment, classroom curriculum, teacher qualifications, and before- and after-school care. 

Public-use data from the kindergarten through fourth-grade rounds of the ECLS-K:2011 are now available online. A restricted-use dataset with data from the kindergarten through fourth-grade rounds is also available to qualified researchers with an IES Restricted-use Data License. For information on licensing, please see https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/licenses.asp. The schedule of future data releases is available on the ECLS website.

For more information on the ECLS-K:2011 as well as the other ECLS studies, please see our homepage or email the ECLS study team at ECLS@ed.gov.  

NCES Fast Facts Deliver Data to Your Door

By Molly Fenster, American Institutes for Research

Have you ever wondered how many public high school students graduate on time? Or wanted to know the types of safety and security measures schools use, or the latest trends in the cost of a college education? If so, the NCES Fast Facts website has the answers for you!

Launched on March 1, 1999, the Fast Facts site originally included 45 responses to the questions most frequently asked by callers to the NCES Help Line. Today, the more than 70 Fast Facts answer questions of interest to education stakeholders–such as a teacher, school administrator, or researcher–as well as college students, parents, and community members with a specific interest or data need. The facts feature text, tables, figures, and links from various published sources, primarily the Digest of Education Statistics and The Condition of Education, and they are updated periodically with new data from recently released publications and products. 

For example, the screenshot below shows one of the most accessed Fast Facts on high school dropout rates:

Access the site for the full Fast Fact, as well as links to “Related Tables and Figures” and “Other Resources” on high school dropout rates.

The other facts on the site feature a diverse range of topics from child care, homeschooling, students with disabilities, teachers, and enrollment, to graduation rates, educational attainment, international education, finances, and more. The site is organized to provide concise, current information in the following areas:

  • Assessments;
  • Early Childhood;
  • Elementary and Secondary;
  • Library;
  • Postsecondary and Beyond; and
  • Resources.

Five recently released Fast Facts on ACT scores; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; public school students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; postsecondary student debt; and Historically Black Colleges and Universities offer the latest data on these policy-relevant and interesting education topics.

Join our growing base of users and visit the Fast Facts site today!