The Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) currently surveys cohorts of first-time, beginning students at three points in time: at the end of their first year, and then three and six years after first starting in postsecondary education.
Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Features
- The cohorts for each BPS study are drawn from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS)
- BPS tracks students' paths through postsecondary education and helps answer questions of policy interest
- Students are surveyed beginning in their first year of postsecondary education and followed up at the end of their third and sixth years after entry into postsecondary education
- The final dataset for the most recent completed BPS study, BPS 12/17, contains information on approximately 22,500 students
- The current BPS cohort, BPS 20/22, began postsecondary education in the 2019-20 academic year and will next be invited to complete surveys in 2022, and 2025
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- PETS data for the 2012/2017 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study is now available.
The newly released BPS:12/17 transcript data are now available for restricted-use license holders. BPS:12 PETS is the third data release for a study of a nationally representative sample of first-time beginning postsecondary students who were surveyed 3 times over 6 academic years, in 2011-12, 2014, and 2017. Postsecondary academic transcripts were requested from all institutions attended by sample members. These transcript data include detailed information, by institution attended and by time periods, on enrollment, degree programs, fields of study, course taking, credit accumulation, and academic performance. For more information, go to: https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2021177.
- 2012/2017 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study Restricted-Use Data File now available.
The newly released BPS:12/17 restricted-use data are now available for restricted-use license holders. BPS: 12/17 followed a cohort of 2011-12 first-time beginning students in their first, third, and sixth year since entering college. These record-level data are based on student interviews and other administrative data sources and allow users to examine topics related to enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment over six academic years, from 2011-12 to 2016-17. Transcripts were also collected from all the institutions ever attended by BPS cohort members over a six year period. Transcript data will be available to researchers in 2020. For more information, go to: https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2020504.
- NCES Releases New Distance Learning Dataset Training (DLDT) Modules
The DLDT program provides online training modules for several NCES complex survey datasets. These interactive modules allow users to learn about NCES data across the education spectrum and evaluate it for suitability for particular research purposes For more information, go to: http://nces.ed.gov/training/datauser.
Related Longitudinal Studies
The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) is a study of financial aid that NCES has conducted since 1987. The study collects comprehensive data about how students and their families pay for postsecondary education and also serves as the foundation and base year cohort for the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) and Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B).
The Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) tracks first-time students' pathways through postsecondary education over the course of six years, focusing on persistence and degree attainment, transition to employment, and school and work experiences. National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) administrations in 1990, 1996, 2004, 2012, and 2020 (forthcoming) identified the BPS cohorts.
The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B) follows bachelor's degree recipients over the course of 10 years, collecting data on workforce participation, income and debt repayment, and graduate school patterns. National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) administrations in 1993, 2000, 2008, and 2016 identified the B&B cohorts.
NCES collects transcript data from postsecondary institutions for various longitudinal studies, including the Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) and Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B) longitudinal studies. Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS) collections allow further examination of course-taking patterns, credit transfer, student momentum and attrition, and the connections among students' education choices, occupations, and wages. Transcripts were most recently collected for the BPS:12 cohort. Postsecondary education transcript collections include:
- 1984 – NLS-72
- 1993 – HS&B
- 1994 – B&B:93
- 2000 – NELS:88
- 2010 – BPS:04
- 2010 – B&B:08
- 2014 – ELS:2002
- 2017 – HSLS:09
- 2018 – BPS:12
NPSAS:AC – National Postsecondary Student Aid Study: Administrative Collection
BPS – Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study
B&B – Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study
PETS – Postsecondary Education Transcript Studies