tive, over three decades later.16 The schooling survey section collects information on the highest grade attended or completed, earning of GED/high school diploma, ACT and SAT scores, Advanced Placement (AP) test (grades, test taken date, subject of test, highest AP score received), range of colleges applied to, college enrollment status, field of major and type of college degree (bachelor or first professional), number and types (two-year or four-year) of colleges attended, credits received, major choice, college GPA, tuition and fees, sources and amounts of financial aid. Survey respondents were administered Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and Armed Forces Qualifications Test (only for NLSY79 respondents and Peabody Individual Achievement Test for NLSY97 respondents) and the respective scores are available in the dataset. The employment section has items on types of occupations, education requirements and income in different occupations and pension plans. Along with sections on employment and schooling, both the surveys cover areas such as health, family formation, relationships, crime and substance abuse, program participation, etc.

The National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth are important. They can track a survey respondent over time across more than one educational institution. For each institution attended by the respondent, information on credit hours, degree attained and other associated variables are collected. Information about each institution attended (IPEDS code) is available in restricted files. Using the IPEDS code a researcher can access the institutional information available in IPEDS survey files. The database is also helpful in looking at multiple enrollment patterns, kinds of jobs held, and information on graduates’ salaries. The National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth are among the longest-running longitudinal surveys in the country.

Even though the NLSY samples are representative of the U.S. youth population, one cannot calculate institutional productivity for single colleges or universities, unless a sufficient number of observations is available. The survey collects information on institutions attended by survey respondents. Therefore it is not comprehensive because data covering a reasonable period of time are not available for all institutions.

Student and Faculty Engagement Surveys

Student and Faculty Engagement surveys gather information on learning gains and are available in different formats for different types of institutions. For two-year and four-year undergraduate institutions, both students and faculty


16See http://www.bls.gov/nls/ [June 2012].

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