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About Postsecondary Education Transcript Collections

Transcript data provide researchers with an important analytic resource, creating opportunities to study course-taking patterns, credit transfer, student momentum and attrition, and the connection among course and major choices, occupations, and wages. Seven NCES longitudinal studies have collected postsecondary transcripts, beginning with the National Longitudinal Study of 1972, the transcripts for which were collected in 1984.

The most recent NCES studies to contain transcript data are the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), the Beginning Postsescondary Students Study of 2004/2009 (BPS:04/09), and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Study of 2008 (B&B:08). Transcript data for these studies are available through the NCES restricted data program ( Data can also be analyzed online through PowerStats ( and/or downloaded from the Education Data Analysis Tool (eDAT) as a public use file, depending on the study. Studies with postsecondary education transcript collections include:

Year of Transcript Collection Data source
1984 NLS:72
1993 HS&B:80
1994 B&B:93/03
2000 NELS:88
2010 BPS:04/09
2010 B&B:08
2014 ELS:2002
Anticipated HSLS:09
Anticipated BPS:12/17

The amount of detail in transcript collection varies depending on the study. Some studies, such as NELS:88, BPS:04/09, B&B:08, and ELS:2002 have detailed course, term, and institution records. Other transcript collections were used to verify interview data collected from the students in the study, e.g. (B&B:93/03). For more information on NCES's other transcript collections see and