The tables provide data on full-time, first-year undergraduates with higher sticker prices. Comparisons are made with undergraduates attending public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000. Undergraduates in public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000 were chosen as a comparison because many of these students show signs of being able to enroll at higher sticker prices. A third group of undergraduates attended other 4-year public institutions and private institutions with sticker prices below $12,000. This third group is included in the tables, but not in the analysis.
Most of the institutions attended by undergraduates with higher sticker prices were private, not-for-profit, but some attended public institutions as out-of-state students. Twenty-one percent of all full-time, first-year undergraduates who attended 4-year institutions faced higher sticker prices.
Public research universities include Research I and II universities as defined in the Carnegie Classification system. Twenty-two percent of the full-time, first-year undergraduates that attended 4-year institutions enrolled in public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000. In many states, public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000 represent the most prestigious institutional choice available.
The primary source of data for this analysis was the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:96). This data set provides a nationally representative sample of undergraduates enrolled in accredited postsecondary institutions. NPSAS:96 provides information about expenses and financial aid along with characteristics that distinguish undergraduates with higher sticker prices from those with sticker prices below $12,000 in public research universities.
In addition, the report provides information about student characteristics associated with full-time undergraduate persistence in the first year of enrollment. Persistence is defined as attending full-time at the same campus for at least eight months during the year.
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