ERIC Number: ED422830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-May-18
Reference Count: N/A
The Validity of Students' Self-Reported Family Incomes. AIR 1998 Annual Forum Paper.
Smith, Kris M.; McCann, Claudia W.
This study examines how accurately first-year undergraduate students at a public university self-report family income. A comparison of student-reported income to financial aid records found that less than 40 percent of students in three incoming classes of first-year undergraduates (1995, 1996, 1997) accurately reported family income on an entering student survey. Three sources of data were used for the study: first-year student self-reported survey data; institutional student data records; and institutional financial aid files. Other measures included race and predicted grade point average. The results show a significant negative correlation between self-reported and actual earnings, with students in the lower income categories more likely to over-report actual family earnings and students in higher income categories more likely to under-report actual family earnings. However, once income level is controlled for, minority students are significantly more likely to under-report actual earnings, as are students whose parents have not earned at least a baccalaureate degree. Gender was not a significant factor in any of the three years measured. (Contains 9 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A