This report presents information on demographics, course-taking, extracurricular activities, education and occupational aspirations, and life values of U.S. high school seniors studied between 1972-2004. The focus of this report is to present similarities and differences over time by observing seniors in 1972, 1980, 1992, and 2004. Some of the key findings include: high school seniors in 2004 took a greater proportion of higher-level courses than high school seniors in 1982; a smaller percentage of seniors in 2004 planned to work full-time in the year following graduation compared to seniors in 1972; and successive senior classes had heightened expectations for attaining graduate and professional degrees.
Trends Among High School Seniors, 1972-2004. NCES 2008-320
U.S. Department of Education