Check out the Full Report -Patricia
Using questionnaire and transcript data collected in 1972, 1980, 1982, 1992,
and 2004, this report presents information on five cohorts of high school
The analysis addresses overall trends, as well as trends within
various subgroups defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status
(SES). Key findings of the report include the following:
* The proportion of Black seniors who were in the highest SES quartile
doubled from 1972 to 1992 (from 5 percent to 10 percent), and increased
overall from 5 percent in 1972 to 14 percent in 2004.
* The percentage of seniors enrolling in calculus during their senior year
grew from 6 percent to 13 percent between 1982 and 2004. The percentage of
seniors taking no mathematics courses during their senior year declined from
57 percent to 34 percent over this time period.
* Seniors increased their senior-year enrollment in advanced science courses
(chemistry II, physics II, and advanced biology) from 12 percent in 1982 to
25 percent in 2004.
* In each class of seniors, most of those who planned further schooling
intended to attend four-year postsecondary schools, with the proportion of
students planning to attend four-year schools rising from 34 percent in 1972
to 61 percent in 2004.
* In all years, higher percentages of Asian high school seniors, and lower
percentages of Hispanic seniors (except in 1992), compared to other
racial/ethnic groups, planned attendance at four-year institutions.
* No difference was observed between 1972 and 2004 between the percentage of
seniors expecting a bachelor's degree as their highest level of education.
Instead, growth between these two time points was greatest in expectations
for a graduate or professional degree: 13 percent of seniors expected to
attain this level of education as their highest in 1972, compared to 38
percent of seniors in 2004.
* In 1972, males expected to earn a graduate degree as their highest
educational level in greater proportions than did females (16 percent versus
9 percent); however, in 2004, females expected to earn a graduate degree
more often than males (45 percent versus 32 percent).
* Seniors increasingly expected to work in professional occupations (growing
from 45 percent of seniors in 1972 to 63 percent of seniors in 2004
expecting to work in a professional field).