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PEDAR: Executive Summary Undergraduates with Higher Sticker Prices
Student Characteristics
Academic Differences
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

This report investigates the reasons full-time, first-year undergraduates gave for choosing to enroll at higher sticker prices, how they paid their expenses, and the educational experiences associated with attendance. It also reviews how satisfied they were with their choice, how they rated their educational experience, how they paid for the education and their first-year persistence.

The tables provide data on full-time, first-year undergraduates with higher sticker prices. Comparisons are made with undergraduates attending public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000. Undergraduates in public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000 were chosen as a comparison because many of these students show signs of being able to enroll at higher sticker prices. A third group of undergraduates attended other 4-year public institutions and private institutions with sticker prices below $12,000. This third group is included in the tables, but not in the analysis.

Most of the institutions attended by undergraduates with higher sticker prices were private, not-for-profit, but some attended public institutions as out-of-state students. Twenty-one percent of all full-time, first-year undergraduates who attended 4-year institutions faced higher sticker prices.

Public research universities include Research I and II universities as defined in the Carnegie Classification system. Twenty-two percent of the full-time, first-year undergraduates that attended 4-year institutions enrolled in public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000. In many states, public research universities with sticker prices below $12,000 represent the most prestigious institutional choice available.

The primary source of data for this analysis was the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:96). This data set provides a nationally representative sample of undergraduates enrolled in accredited postsecondary institutions. NPSAS:96 provides information about expenses and financial aid along with characteristics that distinguish undergraduates with higher sticker prices from those with sticker prices below $12,000 in public research universities.

In addition, the report provides information about student characteristics associated with full-time undergraduate persistence in the first year of enrollment. Persistence is defined as attending full-time at the same campus for at least eight months during the year.

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