Waiting to attend college: Undergraduates who delay their postsecondary enrollment. Postsecondary education descriptive analysis report (NCES 2005-152)
This report describes the characteristics and outcomes of students who delay enrollment in postsecondary education. It covers the ways in which the demographic, enrollment, and attendance patterns of students who delay postsecondary enrollment differ from their peers who enroll immediately after high school graduation. In addition, the report discusses how students who delay a shorter amount of time differ from those who delay longer. It is based on data from the 2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000), the 2000 follow-up of the National Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88/2000), and the 2001 follow-up of the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:96/01). Delayed entrants began their postsecondary education at a significant disadvantage compared to those who enrolled immediately after high school with regard to family income, parental education, academic preparation, time spent working while enrolled, and course of study. While only a quarter of those who delayed entry first enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs, over half of those who enrolled immediately did so. Further, 40 percent of delayed entrants earned some kind of postsecondary credential compared with 58 percent of immediate entrants.