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Digest of Education Statistics: 2018
Digest of Education Statistics: 2018

NCES 2020-009
December 2019

Appendix A.2. Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study

The Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) provides information on persistence, progress, and attainment for 6 years after initial time of entry into postsecondary education. BPS includes traditional and nontraditional (e.g., older) students and is representative of all beginning students in postsecondary education in a given year. Initially, these individuals are surveyed in the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) during the year in which they first begin their postsecondary education. These same students are surveyed again 2 and 5 years later through the BPS. By starting with a cohort that has already entered postsecondary education and following it for 6 years, the BPS can determine the extent to which students who start postsecondary education at various ages differ in their progress, persistence, and attainment, as well as their entry into the workforce. The first BPS was conducted in 1989–90, with follow-ups in 1992 (BPS:90/92) and 1994 (BPS:90/94). The second BPS was conducted in 1995–96, with follow-ups in 1998 (BPS:96/98) and 2001 (BPS:96/01). The third BPS was conducted in 2003–04, with follow-ups in 2006 (BPS:04/06) and 2009 (BPS:04/09).

The fourth BPS was conducted in 2012, with follow-ups in 2014 (BPS:12/14) and 2017 (BPS:12/17). In the base year, 1,690 institutions were sampled, of which all were confirmed eligible to participate. In addition, 128,120 students were sampled, and 123,600 were eligible to participate in the NPSAS:12 study. In the first follow-up (BPS:12/14), of the 35,540 eligible NPSAS:12 sample students, 24,770 responded, for an unweighted student response rate of 70 percent and a weighted response rate of 68 percent.

Further information on BPS may be obtained from

Aurora D'Amico
David Richards
Longitudinal Surveys Branch
Sample Surveys Division
National Center for Education Statistics
550 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20202