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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)
 Statistical Procedures: Linear Trends

While many descriptive comparisons in this report were tested using Student’s t statistic, some comparisons among categories of an ordered variable with three or more levels involved a test for a linear trend across all categories (in particular for persistence risk index and income), rather than a series of tests between pairs of categories. In this report, when differences among percentages were examined relative to a variable with ordered categories, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test for a linear relationship between the two variables. To do this, ANOVA models included orthogonal linear contrasts corresponding to successive levels of the independent variable. The squares of the balanced repeated replication standard errors (that is, standard errors that were calculated by the balanced repeated replication method), the variance between the means, and the unweighted sample sizes were used to partition total sum of squares into within- and between-group sums of squares. These were used to create mean squares for the within- and between-group variance components and their corresponding F statistics, which were then compared with published values of F for a significance level of .05.6 Significant values of both the overall F and the F associated with the linear contrast term were required as evidence of a linear relationship between the two variables. Means and balanced repeated replication (BRR) standard errors were calculated by the DAS. Unweighted sample sizes are not available from the DAS and were provided by NCES.

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