College Enrollment Benchmarks for the NAEP Grade 12 Mathematics Assessment

Using data from High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 and the 2013 NAEP overlap sample, this study examines the relationship between NAEP achievement and college enrollment as well as other college-related outcomes including college enrollment, selectivity of the college enrolled, remedial course-taking, enrolling in STEM major, and persistence in postsecondary education.

This paper is part of a series of AIR-NAEP working papers that showcase AIR’s expertise and experience not only with NAEP but with other large-scale assessments and survey-based longitudinal studies. Explore all the AIR-NAEP working papers.

Overall, NAEP mathematics achievement explains a considerable amount of the variation in postsecondary enrollment and the selectivity of the colleges enrolled in. However, the variance explained slightly decreased for predicting enrollment without remediation, choosing a STEM major, and persistence. Results show that the NAEP Proficient cut score is associated with a 77% probability of enrolling in a 2-or 4-year college without remedial course-taking, a 33% probability of enrolling in a moderately selective college and a 18% probability of enrolling in a highly selective college. Additionally, NAEP Grade 12 Mathematics Assessment was about equally good as SAT mathematics at predicting students’ postsecondary outcomes enrollment.

Burhan Ogut
Principal Researcher
Image of George Bohrnstedt
Senior Vice President and Institute Fellow
Markus Broer
Managing Researcher