NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Missing Manual: Using National Student Clearinghouse Data to Track Postsecondary Outcomes

Susan M. Dynarski, Steven W. Hemelt, Joshua M. Hyman

NBER Working Paper No. 19552
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS

This paper explores the promises and pitfalls of using National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) data to measure a variety of postsecondary outcomes. We first describe the history of the NSC, the basic structure of its data, and recent research interest in using NSC data. Second, using information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we calculate enrollment coverage rates for NSC data over time, by state, institution type, and demographic student subgroups. We find that coverage is highest among public institutions and lowest (but growing) among for-profit colleges. Across students, enrollment coverage is lower for minorities but similar for males and females. We also explore two potentially less salient sources of non-coverage: suppressed student records due to privacy laws and matching errors due to typographic inaccuracies in student names. To illustrate how this collection of measurement errors may affect estimates of the levels and gaps in postsecondary attendance and persistence, we perform several case-study analyses using administrative transcript data from Michigan public colleges. We close with a discussion of practical issues for program evaluators using NSC data.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19552

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Angrist, Cohodes, Dynarski, Pathak, and Walters w19275 Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice
Dynarski, Hyman, and Schanzenbach w17533 Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion
Black, Arnold Lincove, Cullinane, and Veron w19842 Can You Leave High School Behind?
Dobbie and Fryer w19581 The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes
Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff w19424 Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us