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Part-Time Undergraduates in Postsecondary Education: 200304 Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Report

The 1996/01 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study

The Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Longitudinal Study was first conducted in the 1989–90 academic year. The 1996/01 BPS (BPS:96/01) was the second in the series of studies focusing on first-time beginning students in postsecondary education and is derived from a sample of students who participated in the 1995–96 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:96). The BPS:96/01 began with a sample of approximately 12,400 students identified in NPSAS:96 who were beginning postsecondary education for the first time at some point in the 1995–96 academic year. Beginning students had to be enrolled in either an academic program with at least one course for credit that could be applied toward fulfilling the requirements for an academic degree or enrolled in an occupational or vocational program that requires at least 3 months or 300 clock hours of instruction to receive a degree, certificate, or other formal award, and could not be concurrently enrolled in high school or other high school completion program. The first follow-up of the BPS cohort (BPS:96/98) was conducted in 1998, approximately 3 years after these students first enrolled. Approximately 10,300 of the students who first began in 1995–96 were located and interviewed in the 1998 follow-up, for an overall weighted response rate of 79.8 percent. The second follow-up of the BPS cohort (BPS:96/01) was conducted between February and September in 2001, approximately 6 years after college entry. All respondents to the first follow-up as well as a sample of nonrespondents in 1998 were eligible to be interviewed. Over 9,100 students were located and interviewed, all of whom were included in this report. The overall weighted student response rate was 76 percent overall, a product of the institutional response rate (91 percent) and student response rate (84 percent).2 Information about beginning students in BPS:96/01 were obtained from student interviews conduced in base year and follow-ups and various sources used for NPSAS data collection (see above). Student interviews were conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).

2For more information on BPS:96/01, consult Wine et al. (2002).