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ERIC Number: ED507491
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Completing the Affordability Picture: The Need for More Data on Financial Aid. Report 09-09
Jones, Jessika
California Postsecondary Education Commission
The Commission adopted two affordability reports in 2008. One report examined costs for students at a four-year public university who live on campus. The other examined costs for students living in their parent's home while studying at a community college. Costs were compared to trends in family income over the past 30 years. The resulting report showed how college costs are taking a much greater share of family income, with steepest increases occurring in the last five to ten years. Commission staff found that it is difficult to assess how financial aid affects affordability. Many students are eligible for grants and loans from federal, state, and institutional sources, but it is difficult to determine how financial aid offsets the cost of a college education for students from different family backgrounds. A variety of financial aid data are reported by the higher education systems and state and federal agencies, but inconsistencies in the presentation of data--such as differences in the way that figures are aggregated--make comparing the net cost of education difficult. This report reviews the data available and identifies the next steps that the Commission should take to form a more complete picture of college affordability. The depth of research possibilities in merging financial aid and enrollment data will not be fully realized until staff has an opportunity to examine the variables in data.
California Postsecondary Education Commission. 770 L Street Suite 1160, Sacramento, CA 95814. Tel: 916-322-9268; Fax: 916-327-4417; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Postsecondary Education Commission
Identifiers - Location: California