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PEDAR: Executive Summary What Students Pay for College: Changes in Net Price of College Attendance Between 1992-93 and 1999-2000
Introduction
Changes in Financial Aid Awards Between 1992-93 and 1999-2000
Data Analyzed in This Study
Measures of Net Tuition and Net Price
Changes in Net Tuition and Net Price
Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities
Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Tuition Changes
Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes at Public Research and Doctoral Institutions
Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes at Public Comprehensive and Baccalaureate Institutions
Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes by Student Income Level
Private Not-for-Profit 4-Year Colleges and Universities
Private Not-for-Profit 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Tuition Changes
Private Not-for-Profit 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes at Private Not-for-Profit Research and Doctoral Institutions
Private Not-for-Profit 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes at Private Not-for-Profit Comprehensive and Baccalaureate Institutions
Private Not-for-Profit 4-Year Colleges and Universities: Price Changes by Student Income Level
Public 2-Year Colleges
Public 2-Year Colleges: Tuition Changes
Public 2-Year Colleges: Price Changes
Public 2-Year Colleges: Price Changes by Student Income Level
Conclusions
Research Methodology
References
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Measures of Net Tuition and Net Price

To determine the actual tuition amounts students paid, as opposed to the published sticker price, two measures of net tuition were defined:

  • net tuition 1: total tuition minus federal grants

  • net tuition 2: total tuition minus all grants

The first net tuition measure takes into account federal grants (primarily Pell), which are awarded to the lowest income students. Changes in net tuition 1 show how much federal grants alone would reduce tuition (mostly for low-income students) if other financial aid sources were not available. The second net tuition measure takes into account all grants—federal, state, institutional, and other.2

Tuition is only part of what a college education costs students and families. The total price of attendance, which is estimated by colleges in student budgets, is based on the average tuition as well as living expenses for different types of students. It includes books and supplies, rent, food, and other living expenses in addition to tuition. Typically, nontuition expenses represent about two-thirds of the total price at public 4-year institutions and somewhat less than half of the total price at private not-for-profit 4-year institutions. This study analyzed changes for three measures of net total price of attendance:

  • net price 1: total price minus federal and state grants3

  • net price 2: total price minus all grants

  • net price 3: total price minus all grants and loans4

Net price 1, the price students would pay after subtracting federal and state grants from total price, is the price before the institution commits its own funds to institutional aid and before the student commits to a student loan. Net price 2, the price of attendance after subtracting all grants, is the amount students would pay without taking out a student loan. Net price 3 is the amount students and their families pay out of pocket after taking into account all sources of financial aid, including loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized).5


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education