University of Washington - Beyond High School (UW-BHS) (ICPSR 33321)

Principal Investigator(s): Hirschman, Charles, University of Washington; Almgren, Gunnar, University of Washington


The University of Washington - Beyond High School (UW-BHS) project surveyed students in Washington State to examine factors impacting educational attainment and the transition to adulthood among high school seniors. The project began in 1999 in an effort to assess the impact of I-200 (the referendum that ended Affirmative Action) on minority enrollment in higher education in Washington. The research objectives of the project were: (1) to describe and explain differences in the transition from high school to college by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic origins, and other characteristics, (2) to evaluate the impact of the Washington State Achievers Program, and (3) to explore the implications of multiple race and ethnic identities. Following a successful pilot survey in the spring of 2000, the project eventually included baseline and one-year follow-up surveys (conducted in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005) of almost 10,000 high school seniors in five cohorts across several Washington school districts. The high school senior surveys included questions that explored students' educational aspirations and future career plans, as well as questions on family background, home life, perceptions of school and home environments, self-esteem, and participation in school related and non-school related activities. To supplement the 2000, 2002, and 2003 student surveys, parents of high school seniors were also queried to determine their expectations and aspirations for their child's education, as well as their own educational backgrounds and fields of employment. Parents were also asked to report any financial measures undertaken to prepare for their child's continued education, and whether the household received any form of financial assistance. In 2010, a ten-year follow-up with the 2000 senior cohort was conducted to assess educational, career, and familial outcomes. The ten year follow-up surveys collected information on educational attainment, early employment experiences, family and partnership, civic engagement, and health status. The baseline, parent, and follow-up surveys also collected detailed demographic information, including age, sex, ethnicity, language, religion, education level, employment, income, marital status, and parental status.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, all data files in this collection are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain these restricted files, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
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DS2:  Restricted Use
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Study Description


Hirschman, Charles, and Gunnar Almgren. University of Washington - Beyond High School (UW-BHS). ICPSR33321-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-02-15.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    academic ability, academic achievement, education, educational opportunities, high school graduates, minorities, parental influence, social inequality, student attitudes, students

Smallest Geographic Unit:    state

Geographic Coverage:    United States, Washington

Time Period:   

  • 2000--2010

Date of Collection:   

  • 2000--2010

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    High school seniors in the state of Washington graduating in the years 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and the parents of seniors in the 2000, 2002, and 2003 cohorts.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

For additional information on the UW-BHS project, please see the University of Washington - Beyond High School project Web site.


Study Design:    High school seniors were surveyed using a traditional paper and pencil questionnaire in the spring (April or May). One-year follow-up surveys were conducted from January through June. Attempts were made to contact every senior survey respondent by phone, email, and letter. Finally, the ten-year follow-up survey of the 2000 high school senior cohort was administered online.

Sample:    For information on sampling, please see the Description of Data page on the University of Washington - Beyond High School project Web site.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional , Cross-sectional ad-hoc follow-up , Longitudinal: Cohort/ Event-based

Weight:    The data are not weighted.

Mode of Data Collection:    paper and pencil interview (PAPI), web-based survey

Data Source:


High school records

Carnegie Classification

National Student Clearinghouse

Description of Variables:    The baseline UW-BHS senior survey covers about 200 items, including a broad range of questions on family background, educational plans, perceptions of encouragement from teachers, peers and family members, and standard scales to tap self-esteem, self-efficacy, and other social psychological dimensions. The ten-year follow-up survey of the 2000 high school senior cohort focuses primarily on the key components of young adulthood, including educational attainment, early career and work history, family and partnership formation, civic engagement, and health statuses.

Response Rates:    For regular students -- graduating seniors enrolled at and attending one of the five major high schools -- the response rate is about 80 percent. If a broader universe of students is considered, including students with marginal affiliation to high school and other hard to contact students, the effective rate of coverage of all potential seniors is probably about 70 percent.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2012-04-05

Version History:

  • 2016-02-15 A crosswalk document linking the public and restricted versions of the data was added to the collection.
  • 2015-01-16 The study has been updated to include a public-use data file and associated documentation. The public-use dataset contains 503 fewer variables than the restricted-use dataset; additionally, a number of variables have been recoded. These alterations were undertaken to preserve respondent anonymity and minimize the risk of disclosure.
  • 2013-05-17 The study was updated to include data from the ten-year follow-up survey of the 2000 cohort, which was conducted in 2010. Overall, 578 variables were added to the collection. Additionally, 73 variables were removed by the principal investigators. For more information on which variables were removed or added, please consult the processing notes in the study codebook.
  • 2012-04-10 The Codebook and other documentation are being released as public.

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