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Digest of Education Statistics: 2007
Digest of Education Statistics: 2007

NCES 2008-022
March 2008

Appendix A.2. National Postsecondary Student Aid Study

The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) is a comprehensive nationwide study of how students and their families pay for postsecondary education. It covers nationally representative samples of undergraduates, graduates, and first-professional students in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including students attending less-than-2-year institutions, community colleges, 4-year colleges, and major universities. Participants include students who do not receive aid and their parents, as well as students who do receive financial aid and their parents. Study results are used to help guide future federal policy regarding student financial aid. NPSAS was conducted every 3 years. Beginning with the 1999–2000 study, NPSAS is conducted every 4 years.

The first NPSAS was conducted during the 1986–87 school year. Data were gathered from about 1,074 colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions; 60,000 students; and 14,000 parents. These data provided information on the cost of postsecondary education, the distribution of financial aid, and the characteristics of both aided and nonaided students and their families.

As a part of NPSAS:93, information on 77,000 undergraduates and graduate students enrolled during the school year was collected at 1,000 postsecondary institutions. The sample included students enrolled at any time between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1993. About 66,000 students and a subsample of their parents were interviewed by telephone. NPSAS:96 contained information on more than 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 973 postsecondary institutions enrolled at any time during the 1995–96 school year. NPSAS:2000 included nearly 62,000 students (49,930 undergraduates, 10,640 graduate students, and 1,200 first-professional students) from 999 postsecondary institutions. NPSAS:04 collected data on 69,100 undergraduates and 31,800 graduate students from 1,360 postsecondary institutions.

Further information on NPSAS may be obtained from

James Griffith
Postsecondary Studies Division
Postsecondary Longitudinal and Sample Studies Program
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006