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ERIC Number: ED547122
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Congressionally Mandated Studies of College Costs and Prices. NCES 2003-171
National Center for Education Statistics
In its 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act, Congress directed the Commissioner of Education Statistics to conduct a study of higher education costs paid by institutions and prices paid by students and their families for a postsecondary education. (For the full law, see: Section 131 of the 1998 amendments also required that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) standardize definitions, redesign data systems to improve timeliness and usefulness, and provide consumer information to students and their families about college prices and student financial aid. The congressionally-mandated study was influenced by the work and report of the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices, which was delivered to Congress in 1998 after an intensive 6-month study of the trends and causes of tuition increases. The Commission distinguished between prices and costs, and found that prices (what students pay) had been increasing faster than inflation in both the public and private not-for-profit sectors. Costs (what institutions spend) were also increasing, but at a slower rate than prices. This overview presents the findings of three studies commissioned by the National Center for Education Statistics as part of its report to Congress: "Study of College Costs and Prices, 1988-89 to 1997-98"; "What Students Pay for College: Changes in Net Price of College Attendance Between 1992-93 and 1999-2000"; and "A Study of Higher Education Instructional Expenditures: The Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity". The first study, "What Students Pay for College," examines how increases in financial aid have helped students and their families meet the growing price of a postsecondary education. This "net price" study examines the relationship between price and various forms of student financial aid in order to consider "affordability" for low- and middle-income students. The second study, "A Study of Higher Education Instructional Expenditures," focuses exclusively on instructional costs, which, on average, account for 80 percent of institutional expenditures. The study examines direct instructional expenditures within the disciplinary mix of an institution and for academic disciplines across institutional types. "The Study of College Costs and Prices" examines the relationship between costs and prices and attempts to determine the extent to which spending (expenditure) patterns contribute to tuition increases in higher education.
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
IES Funded: Yes