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Participants > Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who funds the study? The LSAY has been funded through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation.

  • Who runs the study? Professor Jon Miller has been the Director of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth since 1987. Click here to find out more about Professor Miller and the rest of the LSAY staff.

  • I don't remember the LSAY being at the University of Michigan. Why do your letters/emails say The University of Michigan? When you originally participated in the LSAY, between 1987 and 1994, the study was located at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. During the summer of 2006, Professor Miller and the LSAY staff relocated to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. As of 2010, the study is now located at the University of Michigan.

  • How long is the study going to last? The LSAY has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 1986. From 1987 through the spring of 1994, the LSAY conducted intensive in-school surveys and testing in science and mathematics. Data collection resumed in the fall of 2007 and continues on an annual basis. Although NSF and other federal and foundation funding is usually given for periods of three to five years, we expect the LSAY to continue to collect annual update surveys for at least another decade and hopefully for two decades. The LSAY is the longest and best record of the life experiences of Generation X and there is growing recognition of the value of this kind of longitudinal record in understanding the impact of public policies and changes in our society. One of the primary reason for relocating the LSAY to the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan was to give it an institutional home that cares about and is dedicated to longer-term studies.

  • Can I find out how I did on the tests I took? Can I see the answers I gave to some of those questions? We're sorry, but it has been 14 years since the testing ended and we are no longer able to provide a record of your response to individual questions. If you would like to know your total score on a science or mathematics test, you can send a request to Professor Miller at "". Please include your current full name as well as your name and school from 1987 to help us locate your scores.

  • Can I get a report about the results of the study so far? We would be happy to send you an article on some of the results of the study. Just send us an email at "". We will send you a pdf within a few days of receiving your request.

  • How did you find me? During the original years of the LSAY, we asked each of the participants to complete a sheet once a year with the names and addresses of their parents and other family members. Most LSAY participants also provided us with their birthdates. Through the use of online data bases, we were able to use that information to locate most of the LSAY participants. We would like to assure you, that we did not collect social security numbers, and do not have access to your social security number.

  • Are you sure you want me to continue in the study? I never went to college. Because of the questionnaires that you completed during the original years of the LSAY, the LSAY is the only national study that can measure the impact of education - positive and negative - on the shape of your life and the opportunities and difficulties that you face. The purpose of the follow-up study is to examine how your years of schooling influenced your choice of a career and how satisfied you are with the way that things are going. We are interested in young adults with all levels of educational experience - from not finishing high school to completing an advanced degree. Each of you has an important story to tell because education should serve the needs of all Americans.

  • Who will have access to my information? We protect the privacy of your responses and we will publish only statistical summaries of the results, similar to our recent LSAY Newsletter and the data briefs on this website. Only a limited number of LSAY staff will ever know your name or any personal identifying information.

  • How do you use the information we provide you? In the years since you filled out the LSAY questionnaires, the LSAY data has been "blinded" to protect the names of individuals and relevant identifying information. Your responses about your plans for the future and your experiences in school have been used by scholars and public policy analysts to try to understand the performance of students in our school systems and the relative influence of schools, teachers, parents, friends, and the media on some of the choices that you made during the original years of the LSAY. The data from the LSAY have been used in testimony to Congressional committees, in books and articles written and read by educators and education policy leaders, and by graduate students and university faculty who are seeking to understand how we might make schools work better and improve the quality of education that your children (if you chose to have children) may experience. You have already had some influence on the course of education policy in the United States.