Predicting Early College Success for Indiana’s High School Class of 2014

State longitudinal data systems connect datasets traditionally housed between multiple state agencies, such as a state educational agency overseeing K-12 education with data from a commission for higher education. Creating a system that can identify and track an individual across high school, college, and into the workforce can lead to valuable insights. These systems can also help researchers refine methods for predicting which students will succeed or struggle as they move towards college and careers. American Institutes for Research (AIR) experts Elisabeth Davis, Nicole Guarino, and Jim Lindsay, on behalf of the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, looked at merged data consisting of students’ K-12 and postsecondary experiences for the 71,400 students of Indiana’s public and private high school graduating in 2014. This merged dataset allowed the researchers to identify measures that predicted early postsecondary success as well as the influence of Pell Grants and 21st Century Scholarships during the students’ early college experiences, such as taking remedial courses or persisting in college fora  second year. The researchers found, among other things, that students receiving 21st Century Scholarships were more likely than their peers to remain enrolled for a second year of college.