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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)
Changes in Net Tuition and Net Price

After adjusting for inflation, the average total tuition increased between 1992–93 and 1999–2000 across all institution types examined. When federal grants were subtracted from total tuition (net tuition 1), the average net tuition also increased over time except at public 2-year colleges (see Table A). However, when all grants were subtracted from tuition (net tuition 2), no changes in average net tuition were detected for any institution type. These findings suggest that total grant aid increased enough to help students and families meet the average increase in total tuition between 1992–93 and 1999–2000.

Consistent with the findings for college tuition, after taking inflation into account, the average total price of college attendance increased across all institution types, as did net price after subtracting federal and state grants (net price 1). After all grants were subtracted (net price 2), the price of attendance still increased for many undergraduates. Although the increase in total grants was enough to cover the increase in tuition for undergraduates at all institution types, it did not cover the increase in price (which includes living expenses) for undergraduates attending research and doctoral institutions (both public and private not-for-profit) and public 2-year colleges. Not until loans were also subtracted from price (net price 3) was no increase observed between the average amount students paid in 1992–93 and what they paid in 1999–2000 across all institution types. At public 4-year institutions and private not-for-profit comprehensive and baccalaureate institutions, net price 3 (total price minus all grants and loans) actually declined between 1992–93 and 1999–2000. The decline in net price 3 is consistent with the observed increase in borrowing over the same time frame. In other words, compared with their peers in 1992–93, full-time students at public 4-year institutions and private not-for-profit comprehensive and baccalaureate institutions in 1999–2000 paid less out of pocket and increased their debt.

Not all students were affected equally by changes in net price between 1992–93 and 1999–2000. When all grants were taken into consideration (net price 2), students in the lowest income quartile experienced no significant change in net price for any institution type (i.e., no change in net price 2 was detected). In contrast, in nearly all cases, middle- and high-income students did experience an increase in price after all grants were subtracted (net price 2). In other words, between 1992–93 and 1999–2000, the increase in combined federal, state, institutional, and other grant aid awarded was sufficient to offset increases in the price of attendance for low-income students, but not for middle- or high-income students.6

The following discussion describes tuition and price changes for each institution type analyzed in the study.


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