High School and Beyond - providing a lifetime of insight

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why and how was I chosen?
  2. What kinds of questions will you ask? What is new about this follow-up study?
  3. Who do I contact if I have other questions or need assistance?
  4. Do I have to do this?
  5. What is the High School & Beyond study?
  6. Who is sponsoring this study?
  7. What are the benefits and risks of this study?
  8. Why is my information important?
  9. How will you protect my data?
  10. Who is conducting this study?
  11. How long will this take?
Why and how was I chosen?

You were scientifically selected in 1980 so the HS&B study would accurately represent our nation's high school sophomores and seniors at that time. Around 60,000 diverse students from over 1,000 different high schools across the country were asked to participate in HS&B in 1980 and about 26,000 of you have been re-interviewed periodically since that time.

What kinds of questions will you ask? What is new about this follow-up study?

This survey will include questions that will help us understand how people think and how well they remember things. We are interested in exploring how these particular things are related to social relationships and health. We will also ask you about your employment situation and past experiences.

After you do the survey, you will also be eligible for a free in-home health visit. The home health visit will allow scientists to understand how people’s life experiences shape their health, attention, and memory. During this visit, which takes less than an hour, a health professional will come to you to take routine health measurements, like blood pressure and height. The health professional will also ask you to donate blood and saliva samples and for permission to access information about the prescription medication you take. You can choose to skip any parts of the health visit you wish.

You may choose not to answer any specific question or not participate in the health visit for any reason, and may stop participating at any point in time.

Who do I contact if I have other questions or need assistance?

• Call us, toll free, at 1-877-346-7151

• Email us at HS&B@norc.org, or

• Visit us at www.HSandB.norc.org.

• If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, or wish to obtain information, ask questions or discuss any concerns about this study with someone other than the researcher(s), please contact:

NORC IRB Manager, toll-free, at 1-866-309-0542

Please refer to protocol STUDY00009650. IRB Date Approved: 06/01/2020

Do I have to do this?

Your participation in the study is voluntary. However, your participation matters and makes the study results more complete and accurate. We hope that you will choose to participate.

What is the High School & Beyond study?

High School & Beyond (HS&B) is a research study started by the U.S. Department of Education. The current HS&B study is being conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (www.NORC.org) with support provided by the National Institute on Aging (https://www.nia.nih.gov) under a grant from the Alzheimer’s Associate to John Robert Warren at the University of Minnesota. It is a scientific study that does not seek to promote a particular set of policies or viewpoints. The project investigates issues related to education, employment, and health.

Who is sponsoring this study?

All prior rounds of HS&B were sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistic (NCES) in the U.S. Department of Education and NCES continues to endorse the HS&B study. For more HS&B information from NCES, see the following website: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/hsb.

The current HS&B study is supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association.

What are the benefits and risks of this study?

Although you may not benefit directly from being in this study, other people may benefit from the scientific advances to which this study leads. The risk to you of participating in this study is minimal and all of your information will be kept private.

Why is my information important?

The survey answers you provide will be used by researchers to improve education and health policies and services in the United States. In addition to questions about employment, you’ll be asked questions related to how you think and how well you remember things. You’ll also be asked to participate in an exciting and important new part of the 2021 follow-up. We want to learn how people’s biology and things that happen to them in their lives impact their health later on. If you agree to the home health visit, NORC will securely share your name, address, email, and phone number with a company called ExamOne to schedule a visit. ExamOne is a trusted company with a team of trained health professionals. For your safety, the health professional will wear full protective gear while in your home. Even if you agree to the health visit now, you can change your mind later, or do only the parts of the visit that you are comfortable with. Your health data would be kept private and used only for research, just like the survey data.

To learn more about the health visit, please view the Home Health Visit tab.

How will you protect my data?

Your privacy and the confidentiality of your information are extremely important to us. We work hard to protect the privacy of people who participate in our study. Information we get from you would be assigned a secure identification number. Your name, address, phone number, and email address would remain confidential and would never appear in any report or presentation about this study.

All researchers who want to use data from this study must agree to strict rules and procedures that are designed to protect your information. The data shared with researchers will not contain information that identifies you.

If you choose to give saliva and blood samples as part of the home health visit, those samples would be stored securely for future analyses at the University of Minnesota. Data resulting from analyses using your samples would be held securely at the National Institute on Aging’s Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease Data Storage Site. Some people worry that research about their genes might lead to discrimination in employment or health insurance against people who are found to have a higher average risk of certain health conditions. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) makes it illegal for health insurers or most employers to discriminate against you based on your genetic information. Health insurance companies and employers may not ask for information about your genes that we get from this research.

Who is conducting this study?

The 2021 HS&B study is directed by John Robert Warren (University of Minnesota), Chandra Muller (University of Texas-Austin), Eric Grodsky (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Jennifer Manly (Columbia University). It is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, a not-for-profit social science research organization. Since 1941, NORC has served the public interest and improved lives through objective social science research that supports informed decision making.

You might also remember NORC as the National Opinion Research Center! For more information about NORC, see www.norc.org

How long will this take?

The survey takes approximately 35 minutes to complete. If you agree to participate in the free home health visit, it may take up to one additional hour on a future date.

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