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PEDAR: Executive Summary  How Families of Low- and Middle Income Undergraduates Pay For College: Full-Time Dependent Students in 1999-2000
Paying for College
Financial Need
Financial Aid
Types and Amounts of Aid
Relative Importance of Grants and Loans
Sources of Aid
Remaining (Unmet) Need
After Financial Aid
Help From Parents
Paying for College: A Summary
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 After Financial Aid

The amount of money that students and their families have to pay (after financial aid) during a given year to allow the students to enroll is called the "net price." For this analysis, net price was computed as total price minus all financial aid except work-study (i.e., total price minus grants and loans).5 Because work-study programs provide wage subsidies to institutions and other employers, they help students obtain jobs. From the perspective of students, however, work-study earnings are still earnings from work and therefore they would have reported them in the telephone interview when asked about work. If work-study earnings were included in aid, they would be double-counted later in this analysis when the relative contributions of aid and work are examined.

Among low-income students, those at public nondoctoral institutions appeared to have the lowest average net price ($4,600). No differences were detected in the average net prices of low-income students at public 2-year, public doctoral, and private not-for-profit nondoctoral institutions ($5,400 to $6,000). Because there were differences in the average prices paid at these types of institutions (as discussed earlier), more financial aid compensated for the higher prices. Low-income students at private not-for-profit doctoral and liberal arts institutions had the highest average net price ($9,100).

Among middle-income students, those at public 2-year and public 4-year nondoctoral institutions had the lowest net prices ($7,700 and $7,500, respectively). Their counterparts at public doctoral and private not-for-profit nondoctoral institutions had the next highest net prices ($8,700 and $9,400, respectively). Middle-income students at private not-for-profit doctoral and liberal arts institutions had the highest average net price ($14,600).

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