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Sept 2 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, announces its intention to request OMB approval for the 2020/22 Beginning Postsecondary Students Field Test (BPS:20/22) from 03/01/21 to 06/30/21. Comments are due by November 2, 2020.

BPS is designed to follow a cohort of students who enroll in postsecondary education for the first time during the same academic year, irrespective of the date of high school completion. The study collects data on students' persistence in and completion of postsecondary education programs; their transition to employment; demographic characteristics; and changes over time in their goals, marital status, income, and debt, among other indicators. Data from BPS are used to help researchers and policymakers better understand how financial aid influences persistence and completion, what percentages of students complete various degree programs, what are the early employment and wage outcomes for certificate and degree attainers, and why students leave school.

BPS:20/22 will be a nationally-representative sample of approximately 37,000 students who were first-time beginning students during the 2019-20 academic year. The BPS:20/22 field test will include approximately 3,700 students who first began in the 2018-19 academic year. These students will be asked to complete a survey and administrative data will also be collected for them. Administrative data matching will be conducted with sources including the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), containing federal loan and grant files; the Central Processing System (CPS), which houses and processes data contained in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms; the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) which provides enrollment and degree verification; vendors of national undergraduate, graduate, and professional student admission tests; and possible other administrative data sources such as the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). These data will be obtained through file matching/downloading.
 
BPS website: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/bps/
FR notice inviting comment:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/02/2020-19423/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-202022-beginning-postsecondary-students
Draft survey form and supporting statement:  https://beta.regulations.gov/docket/ED-2020-SCC-0142/document
 
Point of contact: David Richards, Associate Education Research Analyst, NCES  David.Richards@ed.gov   (202) 245-6202

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