For dropout and completion rate estimates, please see the discussions above and
Age of the subject at the time of the interview.
- Family income.
In the Current Population Survey (CPS), family income is derived from a single question
asked of the household respondent. Income includes money income from all sources
including jobs, business, interest, rent, and social security payments. The income
of nonrelatives living in the household is excluded, but the income of all family
members 14 years old and older, including those temporarily living away, is included.
Family income refers to receipts over a 12-month period.
There are several issues that affect the interpretation of dropout rates by family
income using the CPS. First, it is possible that the family income of the students
at the time they dropped out was somewhat different from their family income at
the time of the CPS interview. Furthermore, family income is derived from a single
question asked of the household respondent in the October CPS. In some cases, there
are persons ages 15–24 living in the household who are unrelated to the household
respondent, yet whose family income is defined as the income of the family of the
household respondent. Therefore, the current family income of the respondent may
not accurately reflect that person's family background. In particular, some of the
young adults in the 15- through 24-year age range do not live in a family unit with
a parent present.
- GED, or General Educational Development.
General Educational Development (GED) tests are standardized tests designed to measure
the skills and knowledge that students normally acquire by the end of high school.
The tests are developed by the American Council on Education's GED Testing Service.
People who pass may receive a high school equivalency credential.
- Geographic regions.
There are four Census regions used in this report: Northeast, Midwest, South, and
West. The Northeast consists of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Midwest consists of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota,
South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. The South consists of Delaware, Maryland, the
District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma,
and Texas. The West consists of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona,
Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii.
- Recency of immigration.
Recency of immigration was derived from a set of questions on the CPS survey inquiring
about the country of birth of the reference person and his or her mother and father.
From these questions, the following three categories were constructed: (1) born
outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia, (2) first generation, and (3)
second generation or higher. First generation is defined as individuals who were
born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, but who had at least one
parent who was not. Second generation or higher persons are individuals who themselves,
as well as both of their parents, were born in one of the 50 states or the District
of Columbia. These three categories were subdivided using the variable for the subject's
race/ethnicity (please see below) so that there were six categories: the three immigration
categories plus a Hispanic and non-Hispanic category for each of the three immigration
This variable is constructed from two variables in the CPS. One asks about the subject's
ethnic background and the second asks about the subject's race. Those reported as
being of Hispanic background on the ethnic background question are categorized as
Hispanic irrespective of race. Non-Hispanics are then categorized by race. Beginning
in 2003, respondents were able to indicate more than one race. Those who indicated
more than one race and who did not indicate that they were Hispanic were included
in a category labeled "more than one race."
Sex of the subject.