Skip Navigation

High School Completion Validation Study

Thank you for your assistance with the High School Completion Validation Study. This site provides further information related to the study.

The purpose of the High School Completion Validation Study is to evaluate the accuracy with which individuals report high school completion data by comparing individuals’ own reports of high school completion to administrative records. These data have been used extensively by government agencies and the academic community to study relationships between high school completion, or the failure to complete high school, and a number of important life experiences, such as labor force participation, earning power, and enrollment in postsecondary education. To the extent that there are errors in the high school outcome measures, analyses of these relationships can be misleading. Thus, it is crucial to have accurate high school completion data.

The OMB clearance number for the study is 1850-0859.

The collection of information in this study is authorized by laws governing the Census Bureau (Title XIII U.S.C.). It is also authorized by laws governing the U.S. Department of Education, including the Family Education Rights Act (FERPA) (Title XX U.S.C. 1232g). Your responses are protected from disclosure by federal statute under Title XIII. All responses that relate to or describe identifiable characteristics of individuals may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose, unless otherwise compelled by law.

Prior to contacting you, we asked a random sample of adults if they had completed high school and, if so, with what credential. We then asked them where and when they last attended high school. At least one of these adults identified your school.

The easiest way of verifying the information about a specific person would be to call and ask you directly about that person. However, due to Title XIII confidentiality laws governing data collections undertaken by the Census Bureau, we are unable to immediately provide you with the name(s) of the selected former students. Therefore, we would like to ask you to provide a list of the students who graduated from your school during specific periods of time.

If you have any general questions about this study, please contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-221-1204. Someone will be available to take your call Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The U.S. Census Bureau is also available to answer your questions via e-mail at

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. The time required to complete this information collection is estimated to average 40 minutes per response, including the time to review instructions, search existing data resources, gather the data needed, and complete and review the information collection.