PEDAR: Research Methodology  How Families of Low- and Middle Income Undergraduates Pay For College: Full-Time Dependent Students in 1999-2000
Executive Summary
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

1Undergraduates under 24 years of age are generally considered financially dependent for the purposes of determining financial aid eligibility unless they are married, have legal dependents, are veterans, or are orphans or wards of the court. However, financial aid officers are permitted to use their professional judgment to declare students to be independent under unusual circumstances.(return to text)

2Students who attended more than one institution were excluded from the analysis because of the confounding effects of attending different-priced institutions and receiving different financial aid awards at each institution. Students who were not U.S. citizens or permanent residents were also excluded because they are not eligible for federal financial aid. Students who attended private for-profit institutions or less-than-4-year institutions other than public 2-year were excluded because there were not enough full-time dependent students at those types of institutions to make meaningful comparisons.(return to text)

3About one-half of all undergraduates are independent, and about one-half of dependent students do not enroll full time, full year at one institution.(return to text)

4On several key measures related to paying for college, including tuition, institutional and other forms of aid, and students’ highest degree expectations, students at private not-for-profit liberal arts institutions appear to be more like their counterparts at doctoral than at nondoctoral institutions. Therefore, they were grouped with doctoral institutions for this analysis.(return to text)

5The calculation of net price does not include the future cost of repaying loans. For students with loans as part of their financial aid package, the total amount they pay for their education includes the amounts they borrow, plus interest, in addition to the amounts paid while enrolled.(return to text)

6There is no way of knowing what sources of funds families actually use.(return to text)