NCES Report: GED Recipients Similar to Dropouts

A new report from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) has revealed that General Education Development (GED) recipients’ socioeconomic status in the 2002-06 period was lower than that of high school graduates, but higher than the socioeconomic status of high school dropouts.

The report is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences. To compare areas such as demographics, high school experiences, and academic achievement of students the Characteristics of GED Recipients in High School: 2002–06 used data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002).

The findings include:

  • In ninth grade, GED recipients grade points were between that of high school dropouts and high school graduates.
  • By tenth grade GED recipients and students who had dropped out had lower grade point averages than graduates.
  • GED recipients and students who dropped out generally reported similar reasons for leaving high school prior to graduation.

The Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) is designed to record the transition of a national sample of young people as they progress from tenth grade through high school and on to postsecondary education and/or the world of work.

In the first year of data collection (2002) ELS:2002 measured students’ tested achievement and obtained information about their attitudes and experiences.

In 2004, these same students were surveyed to measure their achievement gains in mathematics, as well as changes in their status, such as transfer to another high school, early completion of high school, or leaving high school before graduation.

In 2006, information was collected about colleges applied to and aid offers received, enrollment in postsecondary education, employment and earnings, and living situation. In addition, high school completion status was updated for those who had not completed as of the third round of data collection.

The students will be interviewed again in 2012 to observe their persistence and attainment in higher education, or their transition into the labor market, can be understood in terms of their earlier aspirations, achievement, and high school experiences.