Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Studies of 1988 and 2000, this follow-up study explores the characteristics of formal schooling that contribute to the completion of a bachelor’s degree by the time students reached their mid-20s. The rigor of students’ high school curriculum, particularly rigorous mathematics courses, continued to count more than any other precollegiate factor in determining degree completion. Results indicated that not all students have the same access to a rigorous curriculum. For example, the study found that Latino students are less likely than White and Asian students to enroll in schools that offer trigonometry. In addition, students with low socioeconomic status are less likely to attend schools that offer mathematics above Algebra 2.
Answers in the Tool Box. Academy Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment
U.S. Department of Education
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