The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) examines the characteristics of students in postsecondary education, with special focus on how they finance their education.
To date, states have been oversampled in two released NPSAS studies to allow for state-level analyses. In both cases, the study was designed to ensure comparability with prior NPSAS studies in the national sample and the instrumentation to ensure that important comparisons could be made across collections.
For the 2017-18 academic year, NCES conducted a new data collection that solely leverages administrative data from postsecondary institutions and the Department of Education to provide nationally representative financial aid estimates. NPSAS:18-AC included representative samples from most U.S. States, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This design will allow researchers to generate state representative financial aid estimates and compare financial aid programs at the state level. This study is nationally representative for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in public, private nonprofit, and for-profit institutions at the 4-year, 2-year, and less-than-2-year levels. It is also state representative for all undergraduate students within a state and undergraduates enrolled in public 4-year and public 2-year institutions. NPSAS:18-AC data are expected to be released by fall of 2021. A similar sample design has been adopted for NPSAS:20 which will be nationally-representative of undergraduate and graduate students with a student interview for a subset of students. Student data collection for NPSAS:20 ended in early 2021 and data processing is currently being conducted.