The National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of
Sciences has released the report "Trends Among High School Seniors,
Using questionnaire and transcript data collected in 1972, 1980, 1982,
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
findings of the report include the following:
* The proportion of Black seniors who were in the highest SES quartile
from 1972 to 1992 (from 5 percent to 10 percent), and increased overall
percent in 1972 to 14 percent in 2004.
* The percentage of seniors enrolling in calculus during their senior
from 6 percent to 13 percent between 1982 and 2004. The percentage of
taking no mathematics courses during their senior year declined from 57
to 34 percent over this time period.
* Seniors increased their senior-year enrollment in advanced science
(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
to attend four-year postsecondary schools, with the proportion of
planning to attend four-year schools rising from 34 percent in 1972 to
percent in 2004.
* In all years, higher percentages of Asian high school seniors, and
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
seniors expecting a bachelor's degree as their highest level of
Instead, growth between these two time points was greatest in
expectations for a
graduate or professional degree: 13 percent of seniors expected to
level of education as t