Skip Navigation
PEDAR: Executive Summary Middle Income Undergraduates: Where They Enroll and How They Pay for Their Education
Profile of Middle Income Full-Time, Full-Year Dependent Undergraduates
Price of Attendance
Financial Need and Financial Aid
Sources of Financial Aid
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

The need for financial aid or other financial help, such as tuition tax credits, to assist students from middle income families to attend the college of their choice has received increased attention recently. This report provides a profile of middle income undergraduates in comparison to their lower income and higher income counterparts and examines where middle income students enroll by price of attendance and how they and their families pay for college, including the role of financial aid.

The source of data for this analysis was the 1995-96 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:96). The report is limited to full-time, full-year (FTFY) dependent undergraduates who were enrolled during 1995-96.

In this report, middle income undergraduates are defined as those with family incomes between $35,000 and $69,999 in 1994, the year of the income data included in the NPSAS:96 database. Undergraduates from families with incomes below $35,000 are defined as lower income, and those from families with incomes of $70,000 or more are defined as higher income. Thirty-seven percent of FTFY dependent undergraduates in the sample were middle income according to this definition, 35 percent were lower income and 28 percent were higher income.

Because the financing strategies that students use to pay for college vary by price of attendance, results are provided for four price-of-attendance levels: lowest price of attendance (less than $6,000), moderate price of attendance ($6,000 to $8,499), upper price of attendance ($8,500 to $15,999) and highest price of attendance ($16,000 or more). The price of attendance is the FTFY dependent undergraduate budget, which represents the total expected expenses for a FTFY dependent undergraduate to attend college in 1995-96, including tuition, fees, and nontuition expenses.

USER NOTE: This publication is best viewed using a screen resolution of at least 800x600 pixels. For instructions on how to change your screen resolution, please see NCES Help.

next section