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Elements of success: how type of secondary education credential helps predict enlistee attrition

Elements of success: how type of secondary education credential helps predict enlistee attrition

Burkhauser, Susan; Hanser, Lawrence M; Hardison, Chaitra M

The U.S military services have traditionally used a tiering system, including education credentials such as high school diplomas, in combination with Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) scores to help gauge the likelihood of a recruit persevering through his or her first term of service. But what about less traditional credentials, such as diplomas earned through homeschooling and distance learning? The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) asked RAND to examine whether its current education-credential tiering policy is still useful in predicting first-term attrition. The authors examined attrition rates at 12, 24, and 36 months of service for all enlistees from 2000 through 2011. Using statistical regression techniques, they compared attrition rates for those with distance learning or homeschool credentials to those of high school diploma holders, after controlling for other observable population differences. Overall, the analyses support current tiering policy classifying homeschool diplomas as Tier 1 if a recruit's AFQT score is 50 or higher (i.e., they are treated the same as high school diploma holders) or Tier 2 if a recruit's AFQT score is lower than 50. The results also support classifying distance learning credentials as Tier 2 regardless of AFQT score

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2014

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Susan Burkhauser, Lawrence M. Hanser, Chaitra M. Hardison
ISBN: 0833084240, 0833085220, 9780833084248, 9780833085221
Note: Online resource; title from PDF title page (RAND, viewed March 10, 2014).
Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 47).
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 47 pages) : color illustrations.
Series: RAND Corporation research report series ; RR-374-OSD
Subject: United States.; Education, Secondary Evaluation.; United States Armed Forces Personnel management.; HISTORY Military Other.; Military discharge.; Education, Secondary United States Evaluation.; Recruiting and enlistment.; Military discharge United States.; Armed Forces Personnel management.; United States Armed Forces Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
Alternative Title: How type of secondary education credential helps predict enlistee attrition
Series Title: Research report (Rand Corporation) ; RR-374-OSD.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Introduction
  2. Attrition Analyses
  3. Study Findings
  4. Conclusions and Recommendations
  5. Appendix A: Descriptive Statistics for Key Variables
  6. Appendix B: Effectiveness of the Propensity Weights
  7. Appendix C: Models Used in Doubly Robust Regression Analysis
  8. Appendix D: Simple Logistic Regression Model.