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ERIC Number: ED480296
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Pages: 102
Abstractor: N/A
How Families of Low- and Middle-Income Undergraduates Pay for College: Full-Time Dependent Students in 1999-2000. Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Report.
Choy, Susan P.; Berker, Ali M.
As debate continues over who should get what kinds of aid to attend college, it is important to know what students and their families are actually paying for college, where the money is coming from, and how students' methods of paying vary with their family income and the type of institution they attend. To inform these debates, this report uses data from the 1999-2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000) to describe how the families of dependent students used financial aid and their own resources to pay for college, emphasizing variation by family income and type of institution. The study covers students were dependent undergraduates who were full-time at 2-year or 4-year colleges. Approximately one-quarter of all undergraduates met these criteria. For low-income students at each type of institution, the expected family contribution fell short of the price students had to pay, even after financial aid. At public 2-year institutions, students appeared to cover their educational expenses by receiving aid (primarily grants), living at home, and working while enrolled. At public 4-year institutions, they appeared to depend primarily on aid (both grants and loans), and their own earnings, with some help from their parents. It is difficult to see how low income students at private not-for-profit institutions covered their educational expenses, given the gap between the net price and expected family contribution and the amount these students reported earning on their own. It may be that these students reduced their standard of living below the institutionally determined budget, acquired gift or loan funds, or used more of their income or savings than required by the expected family contribution. At public institutions and private not-for-profit nondoctoral institutions, middle income students and their families were in a better position than their low-income counterparts to cover their expenses. With access to student loans and grants at private institutions, these students were generally able to bring the net price into line with the expected family contribution. At private not-for-profit doctoral institutions, there remained a relatively large unexplained amount of the net price to cover beyond the expected family contribution. Two appendixes contain a glossary and technical notes. (Contains 23 tables, 10 figures, and 15 references.) (SLD)
ED Pubs, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827 (Toll Free). Fax: 301-470-1244; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.; MPR Associates, Berkeley, CA.
Note: Project Officer, C. Dennis Carroll.