School Experience

School Experience

Created Variables

CV_SCH_ATTEND_YR. Summarizes the total number of schools the respondent has attended from the 7th through 12th grades as of each round's survey date. Available through round 13.

CV_SCH_ATTEND_EVER. Number of regular schools ever attended as of the survey date. In round 1, the CV_SCH_ATTEND_EVER variable was created using information from the parent questionnaire only. Youths whose parents reported the youth's current grade as sixth or lower are coded as 0; youths with no parent interview are coded as -4. In round 2, the CV_SCH_ATTEND_EVER variable was created using information from the round 2 youth interview (about the period between round 1 and round 2) combined with the round 1 created variable. Youths with no parent interview and youths whose parents incorrectly reported their grade in school as less than 7 may have an undercount of the number of schools attended, because their information is based on the period since the round 1 interview. Subsequent rounds follow the method of creating the round 2 variable. Available through round 13.

CV_SCHOOL_TYPE. Determines whether the respondent's current or most recent primary or secondary school is public, private, parochial, or some other type of school. Available through round 13.

CV_SCHOOL_SIZE. Provides school size (number of students) of the respondent's current /most recent school. This variable is constructed using data from the QED and is available for rounds 1-8.

CV_STUDENT_TEACHER_RATIO. Provides student-to-teacher ratio in the current or most recent school.  This variable is constructed using data from the QED and is available for rounds 1-8.


Event History Variables

A set of variables provides information on the respondent's educational experiences beginning in 1980, when the first information is available in the survey, through the current interview. From 1980 through the round 1 interview date, the variables report schooling information on a yearly basis. Data from subsequent rounds have both monthly and yearly schooling event histories. This approach permits the combination of information from the youth questionnaire, which collects more detailed data, and from the parent questionnaire, which presents information only for each year. In general, these variables refer to the school year rather than the calendar year.

Yearly Schooling Variables

SCH_YEAR_TO_GRADE, SCH_GRADE_TO_YEAR. Presents the grade the respondent attended during the school year and the school year during which the respondent attended a certain grade. For example, SCH_YEAR_TO_GRADE.1990 refers to the grade attended by the respondent during the school year that starts in fall 1990 and ends in spring 1991. Similarly, if the respondent attended fourth grade in 1992-93, then SCH_GRADE_TO_YEAR.4 would have the value 1992.

SCH_CHANGES. Counts the number of times that the school the respondent attended changed during the school year. For example, SCH_CHANGES.1990 shows how many different schools the respondent attended during the school year that started in fall 1990 and ended in spring 1991.

SCH_MNTHS_MISSED. Presents the number of months during the school year that the respondent did not attend school. Does not include summer vacation.

SCH_SUMMER_SCHOOL. Indicates whether the respondent attended extra school classes, such as summer school, during an educational break in a given school year.

SCH_SUSPENSIONS. Counts the number of days during the school year the respondent was suspended from school. For example, if SCH_SUSPENSIONS.1990 has a value of 3 then the respondent was suspended from school for three days during the 1990-91 school year.

SCH_GRADE_PROGRESS, SCH_YEAR_PROGRESS. Reports whether the respondent was skipped ahead or demoted during a given grade in school or during a given school year.

Monthly Schooling Variables

SCH_STATUS. Reports the respondent's enrollment status during each month from the round 1 interview date through the current interview date. Coding categories include unknown, not enrolled, in grades K-12, in college, on vacation, expelled, and other.

SCH_TERM. Reports the respondent's school type (public, private, or religious) and grade for each month in the time period. Researchers should consult Appendix 6 of the NLSY97 Codebook Supplement for exact information on the coding structure used in this array.

SCH_ID. Permit users to link array information to the school roster in the main data file and access other information about the school. For each month that the respondent was enrolled in the SCH_STATUS array, the corresponding monthly variable in this array contains an identification code. The SCH_ID is based on the NEWSCHOOL_PUBID identification variables that are part of the main data set's schooling rosters. Users should refer to Appendix 6 of the NLSY97 Codebook Supplement for exact information on using the code to match event history data with main file data.

SCH_DUAL_xxxx. Flags the small number of NLSY97 respondents who went to two different schools in the same month. Because only the first school can be reported in the other arrays, this variable flags these special cases. There is only one variable for each school for the period between each interview; the exact month when the overlap occurred is not indicated, and overlap may have occurred in more than one month.

Deny Variables. Deny variables in the schooling section identify respondents who deny ever attending a school reported in a previous interview round. 


Important Information About Using School Experience Data

1. Researchers should refer to Education, Training & Achievement Scores: An Introduction for a description of the structure of the schooling section in each round of the survey. 

2. The NEW SCHOOL roster organizes information about each school in a matrix of data. See Education, Training & Achievement Scores: An Introduction for more information on this roster, including an example.

The NLSY97 surveys gathered detailed high school data, including each respondent's course of study, classes, and grades. Created variables, as well as information from the round 1 parent survey, supplement this collection.  (Information on college data can be found in the College Experience section).

In addition, round 1 respondents enrolled in grade 12 or lower during the fall of 1996 were asked a series of questions about their experiences at school during the fall of 1996. These questions included the number of times they had something of value stolen from them at school, someone threatened to hurt them, they got into a physical fight at school, or they were late for school without an excuse.

High School Experience

Youth Questionnaire. For respondents who report attending the 9th grade or higher, data were collected on the course of study in high school (e.g., college prep, vocational technical). Respondents were also surveyed on the types of math, science and other (e.g., computer programming, word processing, home economics) courses took, in the 7th through the 12th grades. In round 1, respondents were also asked whether each math and/or science course they reported was an honors course.

The NLSY97 also questioned respondents who attended the 9th grade or higher, or who are no longer enrolled and last attended the 8th grade, on the overall marks they received in the 8th grade (e.g., mostly As, about half As and Bs). Those who are enrolled in college or who are no longer enrolled in a regular school are surveyed on the overall marks they received from the 9th to the 12th grades. 

Parent Questionnaire (round 1). During round 1, the responding parent was surveyed on the schools that the youth attended since the 7th grade (including home schooling) and gaps in enrollment of one month or more. Additional educational information included the youth's enrollment in Head Start.

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys: For the NLSY79, information on grades and courses taken in high school is available through the 1980-83 Transcript Surveys. Respondents have also reported their high school curriculum. Data are recorded for the Children of the NLSY79 on participation in Head Start, grades repeated, and characteristics of the school and curriculum. The Original Cohort respondents provided information on the type of their high school curriculum; however, coding categories for curricula were quite different for these cohorts. Mature and Young Women also listed types of mathematics courses taken in high school. For more information, consult the appropriate cohort's User's Guide.

In addition, information on school coursework and school-based learning programs is recorded in the schooling section of the instrument and is collected for all respondents. See School-Based Learning Programs for more information.

Survey Instruments: Questions on school experiences are found in the schooling section (question names begin with YSCH) of the Youth Questionnaire and section PC8 of the round 1 Parent Questionnaire.

Related User's Guide Sections College Experience
Main Area of Interest Education: School Experience
Supplemental Areas of Interest Education: College Experience
Educational Status & Attainment
Household Characteristics
Time Use