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Chapter 6: Postsecondary Education

Indicator 35: Price of Attendance and Financial Aid

In 200708, the average annual total price of attendance for undergraduates who attended full time, full year at one institution was not measurably different for males and females. A higher percentage of female than male undergraduates (82 vs. 77 percent) received financial aid. Among students who received financial aid, the average amount of total aid was not measurably different between males and females.

The total price of attending a postsecondary institution includes tuition and fees, books and materials, and an allowance for living expenses. In 200708, the annual average was $22,400 for the total price of attendance for undergraduates who attended full time, full year at one institution.8 In 200708, the average annual total price of attendance for full-time, full-year undergraduates was not measurably different for males and females overall or within racial/ethnic groups.

The average annual total price of attendance for full- time, full-year undergraduates varied by race/ethnicity in 200708. The average price was higher for Asians ($23,800), Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders ($22,900), students of two or more races ($22,800), Whites ($22,700), and Blacks ($22,000) than for Hispanics ($20,000) and American Indians/Alaska Natives ($19,100). In addition, the average price was higher for Asians than for Whites and Blacks.

Most students and their families did not pay the full price of attendance at postsecondary institutions. In 200708, approximately 80 percent of all full-time, full-year undergraduates and their families received financial aid to defray their expenses. Among students who received financial aid, the average amount of total aid was approximately $12,900 annually. A higher percentage of female than male students received financial aid (82 vs. 77 percent). The same pattern also was observed for White, Hispanic, and Asian males and females. For example, about 89 percent of Hispanic females received financial aid, compared with 82 percent of Hispanic males. However, among the students who received aid, the average amount of total aid was not measurably different for males and females overall or within each racial/ethnic group.

The percentage of full-time, full-year undergraduates who received financial aid and the average amount received varied by race/ethnicity in 200708. The percentage of Asian students receiving financial aid (68 percent) was lower than the percentage of students from any other racial/ethnic group receiving it. The percentages of Black (92 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (87 percent), and Hispanic (86 percent) undergraduates and undergraduates of two or more races (84 percent) receiving financial aid were higher than the percentage of Whites receiving aid (78 percent). In addition, the percentage of Black students receiving financial aid was higher than the percentages of Hispanic students, students of two or more races, and Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander students (80 percent) receiving aid. Among undergraduates who received financial aid, the average amount of total aid received was lower for American Indians/Alaska Natives ($10,800) and Hispanics ($11,500) than for students of any other racial/ ethnic group; in addition, the average amount for Blacks ($13,600) was higher than that for Whites ($13,000).

In 200708, about 53 percent of full-time, full-year undergraduates received student loans to pay for their expenses; among students who received student loans, the average annual amount of total student loans was$8,000. A higher percentage of females than males received student loans (55 vs. 50 percent). The same pattern also was observed for White and Black males and females. For example, 72 percent of Black females received student loans, compared with 65 percent of Black males. However, among students who took out student loans, the average amount of total student loans was not measurably different between males and females overall or within each racial/ethnic group.

In 200708, the percentage of full-time, full-year undergraduates who received student loans and the average amount received varied by race/ethnicity. Specifically, the percentage of students who received student loans was higher for Blacks (70 percent) than for students of any other racial/ethnic group. In addition, the percentage of students of two or more races who received student loans (58 percent) was higher than the percentages of White (52 percent) and Hispanic (49 percent) students receiving them. Among students who took out student loans, the average annual amounts of total student loans were higher for Whites ($8,100) and Blacks ($8,000) than for Asians ($7,400); no measurable differences were found among other racial/ethnic groups.

Technical Notes

Financial aid amounts are averages for those who received the specified type of aid. Full-time, full-year undergraduates were enrolled full time for 9 or more months from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008. Months did not have to be contiguous, and students did not have to be enrolled for a full month in order to be considered enrolled for that month. “Full time” is usually defined as 12 or more credit hours. “Total aid” includes all types of financial aid from any source, except parents, friends, or relatives. Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are also included in “total aid,” but are excluded from “total student loans.” “Total grants” includes grants, scholarships, or tuition waivers from federal, state, institutional, or private sources, including employers. “Total student loans” includes federal, state, institutional, and private (alternative) loans. Estimates presented include dependent and independent undergraduates.

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Figure 35-1 Average annual total price of attendance for undergraduates who attended full time, full year at one institution, by race/ethnicity and sex: Academic year 200708

Figure 35-2 Percentage of undergraduates attending full time, full year at one institution who received financial aid, by race/ethnicity and sex: Academic year 200708

Table E-35-1 Average annual tuition and fees, price of attendance, and financial aid for undergraduates who attended full time, full year at one institution, by sex and race/ethnicity: Academic year 200708


8 Within this indicator, “undergraduates who attended full time, full year at one institution” was shortened to “full-time, full-year undergraduates.”

  
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