Skip Navigation

How Low Income Undergraduates Financed Postsecondary Education:1992-93


  1. See Laura Horn, Undergraduates Who Work While Enrolled in Postsecondary Education: 1989-90 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1994), NCES 94-311, for a description of how much undergraduates work while enrolled.
  2. The College Board, Washington Office, Trends in Student Aid: 1984 to 1994 (Washington, D.C.: 1994),4.
  3. See appendix B for more information on NPSAS and BPS.
  4. Income is defined as the sum of adjusted gross income and untaxed income.
  5. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1994 (Washington, D.C.: 1994), 480. The 1991 income was used to determine a student s eligibility for financial aid in 1992-93.
  6. Single independent students are more precisely independents without dependents, and therefore could include students who are married but separated and therefore technically not single. However, the term single independents is used in this report because it is less cumbersome and easier to distinguish from independents with dependents.
  7. The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 changed the definition of independent, making it more difficult for students less than 24 years old to file financial aid applications as independents. Starting in 1993-94, it was no longer possible for students to apply for financial aid as independents on the grounds they were not claimed as tax exemptions for 2 years and could document resources of more than $4,000 per year.
  8. As shown in figure 3 and table 3, 64 percent of low income students and 79 percent of other students were white, non-Hispanic, leaving 36 percent and 21 percent, respectively, minority.
  9. The 1989-90 data are reported here because these questions were not asked in NPSAS:93. The BPS students whose persistence and attainment are examined later were part of NPSAS:90.
  10. For comments on the current state of need analysis, see National Association of Student Financial Administrators, Need Analysis: Does it Still Work? (Washington, D.C.), June 1995.
  11. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1992-93 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:93), Undergraduate Data Analysis System.
  12. It should be pointed out that only 30 percent of low income students attending private, for-profit institutions were enrolled full time for a full year; most were enrolled in programs lasting less than 1 year. Thus, the majority of students at private, for-profit institutions would not be paying tuition as high as $13,000 for their programs. U.S. Department of Education, , 1992-93 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:93), Data Analysis System.
  13. All differences for independent students were statistically significant except for single independent students at private, for-profit institutions.
  14. Dependency status is relevant because dependents, single independents, and independents with dependents have different minimum contributions and are subject to different rules about how their income and assets are treated.
  15. The maximum Pell grant was also limited by educational costs. Students at low-tuition public institutions were not always eligible for the maximum $2,400.
  16. The difference in the average Pell grant at private, not-for-profit 4-year and less-than-4-year institutions was not statistically significant.
  17. This includes students without aid. Because 99 percent of all full-time, full-year low income students had financial need and thus would have been eligible for financial aid, it seemed more appropriate to include all of them in the calculation of the ratios in this table, rather than to limit the calculation to just those who received aid.
  18. The average unmet need was somewhat lower than the gap between net costs and the EFC. This can be explained by the fact that unmet need is calculated with reference to the institutionally determined budget (which averaged $10,900, table 7), while net costs are calculated with reference to student-reported costs (which averaged $12,600).
  19. Considering low income students separately by dependency status, the difference was statistically significant for independents with dependents, but not for dependents or single independents.
  20. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1992-93 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:93), Undergraduate Data Analysis System.
  21. Appendix B contains a description of the means adjustment method. A logistic regression model would be an alternative to a linear regression model.
  22. It should be noted, however, that income and borrowing are likely to be related. In addition, for dependent students, parental education and income are related.
  23. Other excluded institutions were those offering only avocational, recreational, or remedial courses; those offering only in-house business courses; those offering only programs of less than 3 month s duration; and those offering only correspondence courses.
  24. The NPSAS sample is not a simple random sample and, therefore, simple random sample techniques for estimating sampling error cannot be applied to these data. The DAS takes into account the complexity of the sampling procedures and calculates standard errors appropriate for such samples. The method for computing sampling errors used by the DAS involves approximating the estimator by the linear terms of a Taylor series expansion. The procedure is typically referred to as the Taylor series method.
  25. The standard that p<=.05/k for each comparison is more stringent than the criterion that the significance level of the comparisons should sum to p<=.05. For tables showing the t statistic required to ensure that p<=.05/k for a particular family size and degrees of freedom, see Olive Jean Dunn, Multiple Comparisons Among Means, Journal of the American Statistical Association 56: 52-64.
  26. Although the DAS simplifies the process of making regression models, it also limits the range of models. Analysts who wish to use different error assumptions than pairwise or to estimate probit/logit models can apply for a restricted data license from NCES.
  27. The adjustment procedure and its limitations are described in C.J. Skinner, D. Holt, and T.M.F. Smith, eds. Analysis of Complex Surveys (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1989).

    [Appendix B] Previous [Table of Contents][Table of Contents]