This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.

Education Longitudinal Study (ELS), 2002: Base Year (ICPSR 4275)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics


The base year of the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) of 2002 represents the first stage of a major longitudinal effort designed to provide trend data about critical transitions experienced by students as they proceed through high school and into postsecondary education or their careers. The 2002 sophomore cohort will be followed, initially at 2-year intervals, to collect policy-relevant data about educational processes and outcomes, especially as such data pertain to student learning, predictors of dropping out, and high school effects on students' access to, and success in, postsecondary education and the work force. Part 1, Student-Level Data, is comprised of data from assessments of students (achievement tests in mathematics and reading), surveys of students, surveys of parents, and surveys of teachers. The student assessments measured achievement in mathematics and reading, and they provided baseline scores that can serve as a covariate or control variable for later analyses. The student questionnaire gathered information about the student's background, school experiences and activities, plans and goals for the future, employment and out-of-school experiences, language background, and psychological orientation toward learning. One parent of each participating sophomore was asked to respond to a parent survey. The parent questionnaire was designed to gauge parental aspirations for the child, home background and the home education support system, the child's educational history prior to 10th grade, and parental interactions with and opinions about the student's school. For each student enrolled in English or mathematics, a teacher was also selected to participate in a teacher survey. The teacher questionnaire collected the teacher's evaluations of the student and provided information about the teacher's background and activities. Part 2, School-Level Data, is comprised of data from surveys of school administrators, surveys of librarians, and a facilities checklist (completed by survey administrators, based on their observations at the school). The school administrator questionnaire collected information on the school in six areas: school characteristics, student characteristics, teaching staff characteristics, school policies and programs, technology, and school governance and climate. The head librarian or media center director at each school was asked to complete a library media center questionnaire that inquired into the school's library media center facility, its staffing, its technological resources, collection and expenditures, and scheduling and transactions. The facilities checklist was a brief observational form completed for each school. It collected information about the condition of school buildings and facilities.

Series: Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Student-Level Data - Download All Files (205.411 MB) large file
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  School-Level Data - Download All Files (10.143 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. EDUCATION LONGITUDINAL STUDY (ELS), 2002: BASE YEAR. ICPSR04275-v1. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics [producer], 2004. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-10-11. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04275.v1

Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04275.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    academic achievement, adolescents, aspirations, career goals, cognitive functioning, curriculum, educational environment, educational opportunities, educational testing, educational trends, employment, family background, high schools, high school students, home environment, job history, learning, parental influence, school attendance, school dropouts, secondary education, self concept, socioeconomic status, student participation, teacher student relationship, teachers, test scores, wages and salaries, young adults

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

Date of Collection:   

  • 2002 (Spring 2002)

Unit of Observation:    Part 1: Individual students, Part 2: Schools

Universe:    All eligible United States 10th graders in 2002.

Data Type(s):    survey data, event/transaction data, and observational data


Sample:    ELS, 2002 used a two-stage sample selection process. First, a national sample of schools was selected using stratified probability proportional to size (PPS), and school contacting resulted in 1,221 eligible public, Catholic, and other private schools from a population of approximately 27,000 schools containing 10th grade students. Of the eligible schools, 752 participated in the study. In the second stage of sample selection, a sample of approximately 26 sophomores, from within each of the participating public and private schools was selected. Each school was asked to provide a list of 10th grade students, and quality assurance (QA) checks were performed on each list that was received. A stratified systematic sample of students was selected on a flow basis as student lists were received. The strata were Hispanic, Asian, Black, and Other race/ethnicity. The total expected student sample size of approximately 20,000 (approximately 800 x 25) was expanded to select additional Hispanic (if necessary) and Asian students in order to estimate subpopulation parameters within precision requirements.

Weight:    The general purpose of the weighting scheme was to compensate for unequal probabilities of selection of schools and students into the base year sample and to adjust for the fact that not all schools and students selected into the sample actually participated. Three sets of weights were computed: a school weight, a weight for student questionnaire completion, and a contextual data weight for the expanded sample of questionnaire eligible and questionnaire ineligible students. Schools and students were adjusted for nonresponse, and these adjustments were designed to significantly reduce or eliminate nonresponse bias for data elements known for most respondents and nonrespondents. In addition, school weights were poststratified to known population totals. Weighting is discussed in detail in section 3.4 of the User Guide provided by the principle investigators.

Mode of Data Collection:    self-enumerated questionnaire, computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), mail questionnaire, cognitive assessment test

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2005-10-11

Related Publications



Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics