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National Education Longitudinal Study: Base Year Through Fourth Follow-Up, 1988-2000

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data, and event/transaction data
  • United States Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS) Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
academic achievement; adolescents; aspirations; career goals; cognitive functioning; curriculum; educational environment; educational opportunities; educational testing; educational trends; employment; family background; high school students; home environment; job history; junior high school students; learning; parental influence; school attendance; school dropouts; secondary education; self concept; socioeconomic status; student participation; teacher student relationship; teachers; test scores; wages and salaries; young adults
  • Abstract

    This data collection presents base year through fourth follow-up data for the National Education Longitudinal Study (see NATIONAL EDUCATION LONGITUDINAL STUDY, 1988 [ICPSR 9389], FIRST FOLLOW-UP, 1990 [ICPSR 9859], SECOND FOLLOW-UP, 1992 [ICPSR 6448]), and THIRD FOLLOW-UP, 1994 [ICPSR 6961]. In addition, these data sustain continuing trend comparisons with NATIONAL LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF THE CLASS OF 1972 (ICPSR 8085) and HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND, 1980 (ICPSR 7896, 8297, 8443, 8896). NELS:88/2000 collected information on this cohort's accomplishments 12 years after the eighth-grade baseline survey. The 2000 data were collected at a key stage of life transitions for the eighth-grade class of 1988 since most had been out of high school for nearly eight years and many had already completed postsecondary education, started or even changed careers, and started families. Part 1, Student-Level Data, includes universe variables, base-year, first and second follow-up student components, school variables at the student level, second and third follow-up early graduate supplement and student-level transcript variables, first, second, and third follow-up dropout components, base-year and second follow-up parent components, and third and fourth follow-up questionnaires and derived variables. Part 2, Postsecondary Education Attendance Data, provides information for third and fourth follow-up respondents on attendance at postsecondary institutions. Part 3, Postsecondary Institution Data, supplies information about institutions applied to or attended by fourth follow-up respondents regarding sector, tuition/fee deciles, and enrollment. Part 4, Postsecondary 1994 Education Attendance Data, provides information for third follow-up respondents on attendance at postsecondary institutions, including enrollment dates and major fields of study.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Student-Level Data
    • DS2: Postsecondary Education Attendance Data
    • DS3: Postsecondary Institution Data
    • DS4: Postsecondary 1994 Education Attendance Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1988 / 2000
    Time period: 1988--2000
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All eligible United States eighth graders in spring 1988, tenth-graders in the 1989-1990 school year, twelfth-grade students during 1991-1992, and students who in 1994 were two years out of high school and in 2000 were eight years out of high school.
The base-year survey in 1988 was a clustered, stratified national probability sample of 1,052 public and private eighth-grade schools with almost 25,000 students across the United States participating. For the first follow-up in 1990, 21,000 students were sampled and an additional parent survey was added. The second follow-up in 1992 also included a school records component. In each survey, multiple respondent populations were surveyed: students (including dropouts), their teachers, their parents, and their school administrators. In the 1990 and 1992 follow-up studies, a freshened sample was included to achieve a representative sample of the respective age group in the nation. The fourth follow-up study in 2000 began with a sample of 15,237 individuals, subsampled from the sampling frame of 15,964 individuals used for the third follow-up study in 1994, thus removing 647 third follow-up nonrespondents from the frame. At the end of the data collection for the study, a second subsample of study nonrespondents was drawn to limit bias resulting from interview nonrespondents. The subsample included 386 fourth follow-up nonrespondents selected from American Indian and Alaskan Native, Black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, and dropout strata.
Collection Mode
  • The codebooks and supplemental documentation are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

2006-01-18 File MN3955.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.2006-01-18 File CB3955.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3955 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Agirdag, Orhan. The long-term effects of bilingualism on children of immigration: student bilingualism and future earnings. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.17, (4), 449-464.2014.
    • ID: 10.1080/13670050.2013.816264 (DOI)
  • Flashman, Jennifer. A cohort perspective on gender gaps in college attendance and completion. Research in Higher Education.545-570.2013.
    • ID: 10.1007/s11162-013-9285-8 (DOI)
  • Novak, Katherine B., Crawford, Lizabeth A.. Routine activities as determinants of gender differences in delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice.38, (5), 913-920.2010.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.06.008 (DOI)
  • Strayhorn, Terrell L.. When race and gender collide: Social and cultural capital's influence on the academic achievement of African American and Latino males. Review of Higher Education.33, (3), 307-332.2010.
    • ID: 10.1353/rhe.0.0147 (DOI)
  • Steward, Nicole R., Farkas, George, Bingenheimer, Jeffrey B.. Detailed educational pathways among females after very early sexual intercourse. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.41, (4), 244-252.2009.
  • Hanson, Sandra L.. Young women, sports, and science. Theory into Practice.46, (2), 155-161.2007.
    • ID: 10.1080/00405840701233149 (DOI)
  • Buchmann, Claudia, DiPrete, Thomas A.. The growing female advantage in college completion: The role of family background and academic achievement. American Sociological Review.71, 515-541.2006.
    • ID: 10.1177/000312240607100401 (DOI)
  • Adelman, Clifford. Moving into Town--and Moving On: The Community College in the Lives of Traditional-Age Students. Washington, DC: United States Department of Education. 2005.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Konstantopolous, Spyros, Constant, Amelie. The Gender Gap Reloaded: Is School Quality Linked to Labor Market Performance?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 1830.Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor. 2005.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Hudson, Lisa. Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Path to a Postsecondary Credential. Issue Brief.NCES 2003-005, Washington, DC: United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. 2003.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Ingels, Steven J., Curtin, Thomas R., Kaufman, Phillip, Alt, Martha Naomi, Chen, Xianglei. Coming of Age in the 1990s: The Eighth-Grade Class of 1988 12 Years Later. Initial Results from the Fourth Follow-up to the National EducationLongitudinal Study of 1988. Statistical Analysis Report.NCES 2002-321, Washington, DC: United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. 2002.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics (2004): National Education Longitudinal Study: Base Year Through Fourth Follow-Up, 1988-2000. Version 1. National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS) Series. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.