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Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B) Longitudinal Study

1. Overview

B&B collects data from:
  • Base–year NPSAS Data
  • Student interviews
  • Undergraduate transcripts (for select years)
  • Federal financial aid and loan records
  • Identified newly qualified teachers

The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), provides information concerning education and work experiences following completion of the bachelor’s degree. It provides both cross–sectional profiles of the enrollment, persistence, and financial aid receipt of bachelor’s degree recipients in their final year of undergraduate education and longitudinal data on their entry into and progress through graduate–level education and the workforce. Special emphasis is placed on those graduates entering public service areas, particularly teaching, and the provision of information on their entry into the job market and career path.

B&B draws the base-year data for its cohorts from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (see the NPSAS chapter), a nationally representative sample of all postsecondary students. The first B&B cohort consisted of individuals who received a bachelor's degree in the 1992-93 academic year; the second cohort was formed from baccalaureate recipients in the 1999-2000 academic year; the third cohort consisted of graduating seniors from the 2007-08 academic year; and the fourth cohort consisted of individuals who received a bachelor's degree in the 2015-16 academic year.

B&B expands on the efforts of the former Recent College Graduates Survey to provide unique information on educational and employment-related experiences of these degree recipients over a longer period of time. B&B can help to address issues concerning delayed entry into graduate school, the progress and completion of graduate-level education, and the impact of undergraduate and graduate debt on choices related to career and family.

The 1992-93 cohort was followed three times over a 10-year period, in 1994, 1997, and 2003 (B&B:93/94, B&B:93/97, and B&B:93/03, respectively), so that most respondents who attended graduate or professional schools have completed (or nearly completed) their education and are established in their careers. The 1999-2000 cohort was followed only in 2001 (B&B:00/01). The 2007-08 cohort was followed for the first time in 2009 (B&B:08/09), and again in 2012 (B&B:08/12). A third and final follow-up was conducted in 2018-19 (B&B:08/18). The 2015–16 cohort was followed for the first time in 2017 (B&B: 16/17). A second follow-up, B&B:16/20, was conducted in 2020 (data forthcoming in fall 2022), with a third follow-up tentatively planned for 2026.


To provide information on (1) the early employment outcomes and career paths of recent graduates, with a special emphasis on new teachers: retention, attrition, delayed entry, and movement within the educational system; and (2) college graduates’ entry into, persistence and progress through, and completion of graduate-level education in the years following receipt of the bachelor’s degree.


B&B consists of base-year data collected from NPSAS: 1992-93 NPSAS for the first B&B cohort; 1999-2000 NPSAS for the second B&B cohort; 2007-08 NPSAS for the third B&B cohort; and 2015-16 NPSAS for the fourth B&B cohort (NPSAS:93, NPSAS:2000, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:16, respectively). NPSAS data are collected in many components, including institutional records from postsecondary institutions, student interviews, and administrative federal financial aid record systems.

For the first B&B cohort (consisting of 1992-93 baccalaureate recipients), the first follow-up conducted in 1994 collected data from a student interview as well as from undergraduate college transcripts. The second follow-up conducted in 1997 combined a student interview with department aid application/loan records data. The third follow-up conducted in 2003 collected data on topics related to continuing education, degree attainment, employment, career choice, family formation, and finances.

A second B&B cohort, consisting of 1999-2000 baccalaureate recipients, went to the field in 2000, and was followed-up in 2001. The first and only follow-up survey, B&B:2000/01, focused on time to degree completion, participation in postbaccalaureate education and employment, and the activities of newly qualified teachers.

A third B&B cohort, consisting of 2007–08 baccalaureate recipients, was followed- up for the first time in 2009, again combining student interviews, undergraduate college transcripts, and other administrative records. The research topics include the relationship between college graduates' course taking while in college and their subsequent paths into the labor market and/or through graduate school; accumulated educational debt burden of college graduates; and preparations graduates have made for elementary and secondary school teaching, particularly as compared to those of college graduates in other occupations. The second follow-up conducted in 2012 focused on respondents' postbaccalaureate education and employment four years after these students’ graduation from collegestudents graduated from college. The third follow-up conducted in 2018 focused on continuing education, degree attainment, debt repayment, employment, and family formation through the 10th year after graduation.

The fourth B&B cohort, consisting of 2015-16 baccalaureate recipients, was followed-up for the first time in 2017, and focused on both undergraduate education experiences and early postbaccalaureate employment and enrollment. A second follow-up for this cohort was conducted in 2020 and focused on continuing education, debt repayment, employment experiences, and family formation four years after college. This data collection was conducted during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Hence, information was captured on the impact of the pandemic on respondents' further education and employment in 2020.


Base-Year Data (from NPSAS). B&B obtains its base-year information from NPSAS. The NPSAS Student Record Abstraction (institutional records) provides major field of study; type and control of institution; attendance status; tuition and fees; admission test scores; financial aid awards; cost of attendance; student budget information and expected family contribution for aided students; grade point average; age; and date first enrolled. The base-year data also include information from NPSAS Student Interviews regarding educational level; major field of study; financial aid at other schools attended during the year; other sources of financial support; monthly expenses; reasons for selecting the school attended; current marital status; age; race/ethnicity; sex; highest degree expected; employment and income; community service; expectations for employment after graduation; expectations for graduate school; and plans to enter the teaching profession.

For NPSAS:08, parental data previously collected from the Parent Interviews were captured in the Student Interview. These topics include marital status; highest level of education achieved; income; amount of financial support provided to the student; types of financing used to pay student educational expenses; and current employment (including occupation and industry; captured in B&B:08/09). Base year data for this cohort additionally included state-representative undergraduate student samples for four degree-granting institutional sectors (public 4-year; public 2-year; private nonprofit 4-year; and private for-profit 4-year) in six states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.

B&B First Follow–up Survey. The first follow–up is conducted one year after the bachelor’s degree is received (e.g., 1994 for the 1992–93 cohort, 2001 for the 1999–2000 cohort, and 2009 for the 2007–08 cohort).

In the Student Interview portion of the survey, recent graduates provide information regarding employment after degree completion; job search activities; expectations for and entry into teaching (if applicable); teacher certification status (if applicable); job training and responsibilities; expectations/entry into graduate school; enrollment after degree; financial aid; loan repayment/status; income; family formation and responsibilities; and participation in community service. As part of the first follow-up of the 1992–93, and 2007–08. B&B cohorts, an undergraduate transcript study component collected transcripts providing information on undergraduate coursework; institutions attended; grades; credits attempted and earned; and academic honors earned, with transcript information being reported by the institutions.

The 2015–16 B&B cohort pulled data from several additional sources: 1) the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which provides descriptive information about individual postsecondary institutions from which B&B study members were sampled; 2) the Central Processing System (CPS), a database of federal financial aid applications; 3) the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), a database of federal Title IV loans and Pell Grants; 4) the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), which is a central repository and single point of contact for the collection of postsecondary enrollment, degree, and certificate records from participating postsecondary institutions; 5) the Veterans Benefits Administration; and 6) the SAT and ACT.

B&B Second Follow–up Survey. The second follow–up of the 1992–93 B&B cohort was conducted in 1997, four years after the bachelor’s degree was received. Participants provided information in the Student Interview regarding their employment history; postgraduate enrollment history; job search strategies at degree completion; career progress; current status in graduate school; nonfederal aid received; additional job training; entry into/persistence in/resignation from teaching career; teacher certification status; teacher career path; income; family formation and responsibilities; and participation in community service. The second follow–up of the 1992–93 B&B cohort also included a Department Aid Application/Loan Records component to collect information on the types and amounts of federal financial aid received, total federal debt accrued, and students’ loan repayment status. One of the goals of B&B is to understand the effect that education–related debt has on graduates’ choices concerning their careers and further schooling. The second follow-up for the 2007–08 cohort, conducted in 2012, examined bachelor’s degree recipients’ labor market experiences and postbaccalaureate education through the fourth year after graduation. The second follow-up for the 2015-16 cohort was conducted in 2020 and examined postbaccalaureate education and employment both before and during COVID-19.

B&B Third Follow–up Survey. The 1992–93 cohort was followed for a third time in 2003. This final interview, which was conducted 10 years following degree completion, allowed further study of the issues already addressed by the preceding follow–up studies. The 2003 interview covered topics related to continuing education, degree attainment, employment, career choice, family formation, and finances. Additionally, respondents were asked to reflect on the value that their undergraduate education and any other education obtained since receiving the bachelor’s degree added to their lives now. It also contained a separate set of questions directed at new entrants into the teacher pipeline, as well as those who were continuing in or who had left teaching since the last interview. A 10-year third and final follow-up for the 2007–08 cohort was conducted in 2018 and it explored labor market experiences, financial aid debt and repayment, and postbaccalaureate enrollment through the 10th year after graduation.


The four B&B cohorts each have their own follow-up schedule, as described above. B&B cohorts alternate with Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Longitudinal Study cohorts in using NPSAS surveys as their base.

Data Availability

Information on B&B data files is available at Public-use data from B&B are also available at