I will attempt to identify the costs and benefits of the high school graduate using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth as the database. The study will be cross-sectional using those respondents born in 1964 or 1965. Using this data, I will formulate and test a number of hypotheses concerning the personal characteristics such as innate ability, family background, and other socioeconomic variables affecting the decision to go to college. Furthermore, I will explore the possibility of structural differences occurring between four groups - black males, white males, black females, and white females - to see if family background and ability have different effects on each group's educational decisions. Section II of this paper will review a sample of the current literature on my topic; Section III will present and explain the model and data to be used; Section IV will discuss the results of the regression analysis for the population; Section V will discuss the model and results of the structural equations; and Section VI will draw some conclusions and suggest ideas for further research in this area.



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