High School and Beyond is the second in the series of longitudinal studies of high school students conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This study began with two nationally representative cohorts of students who were sophomores and seniors in high school in 1980. The study was designed to be comparative, both across the two HS&B cohorts and the other NCES studies.
Through the base year study and its first four follow ups (1982, 1984, 1986, and 1992), researchers were able to learn about students' secondary educational experiences and their subsequent educational, vocational, and residential choices after leaving high school. A test battery allowed for study of students' cognitive growth over time, and varied questions gave insight into the school, community, family, and socioeconomic factors that influenced participants' life choices.
In 2014, the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Science Foundation for a fifth follow up focused on understanding the ways that participants' life experiences impact midlife health outcomes. An sixth follow up of the study was conducted in 2021, funded by the Alzheimer's Association and the NIH. This most recent wave introduced biomarker collection and cognitive testing to look specifically at participants' cognitive health. This data will be released for restricted research use in 2024.