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Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College Still on the Rise NCES Report Finds

April 30, 2014

For full-time, full-year undergraduates attending four-year private nonprofit colleges and universities, the average "out-of-pocket" net price grew from $16,700 in 1999-2000 to $18,100 in 2011-12, according to a new report from the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Net prices at four-year public institutions rose at an even faster rate, climbing from $10,100 to $11,800 during the same time frame. Two-year public colleges saw relatively moderate increases. The out-of-pocket costs for full-time students at these institutions rose 5 percent, from $9,400 to $9,900.

"Out-of-pocket" net price is the amount students and families must pay after all forms of financial aid (i.e., loans, grants, work-study, and other forms student aid) are received.

Out-of-pocket costs for undergraduates rose despite the fact that financial aid awards increased substantially during the period. The average amount of grant aid from all sources to students at four-year public colleges jumped 86 percent, while grant aid to those attending four-year private nonprofit schools increased 73 percent.

The results suggest that the cost of attending college is increasing at a higher rate than all forms of student financial aid.


Lois Oviawe
Research and Policy Analysis Intern