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PEDAR: Research Methodology  First-Generation Students in Postsecondary Education: A Look at Their College Transcripts
The Naitonal Education Longitudinal Study of 1988
The NELS:88 Postsecondary Education Transcript Study
Analysis Sample and Weights
Accuracy of Estimates
Data Analysis System
Statistical Procedures
Differences Between Means
Linear Trends
Multivariate Commonality Analysis
Executive Summary
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 Analysis Sample and Weights

The analysis sample for this report was first selected from 12th-graders in 1992 because that year marks the modal year of high school graduation and date of initial entry into postsecondary education. Because this report focuses on coursetaking and requires full information on courses taken across all institutions attended, the sample was further restricted to postsecondary participants who had a complete transcript record in the PETS. Finally, the definition of first-generation students requires the sample members to have valid information on their parents’ education. Thus, students for whom parental education was missing were excluded.1 These selections resulted in a final analysis sample of about 7,400 students, accounting for about 87 percent of all the NELS 1992 12th-graders who entered postsecondary education between 1992 and 2000.

The sample selection process requires the weight used in this report to be applied to 1992 12th-graders who participated in postsecondary education and had complete transcript records. Thus, throughout the report—with one exception—the weight variable WTN00 (corresponding to F4F2P3WT in the original data file) was used for all tables and figures. For figure 1, the 1992-1994 panel weight (WTG00) was used; it represents 12th-graders in 1992. Both are poststratified and balanced repeated replication weights. For more information about the NELS/PETS data and survey design, see Postsecondary Attainment, Attendance, Curriculum, and Performance: Selected Results From NELS:88/2000 Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS), 2000 (Adelman, Daniel, and Berkovits 2003).

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