• Report

Out-of-pocket net price for college


Horn, L., & Paslov, J. (2014). Out-of-pocket net price for college. (NCES 2014-902). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.


What is the out-of-pocket net price students must pay for college and how has it changed over time?

Out-of-pocket net price is the immediate amount students and families must pay to attend college after subtracting grants, loans, work-study, and all other student aid from students’ total price of attendance.

- Despite an increase in grant and loan aid between 1999–2000 and 2011–12, out-of-pocket expenses also increased during this period for full-time, full-year students in all but for-profit institutions.

- Students in private nonprofit 4-year colleges paid the highest out-of-pocket net price in all years except 2007–08, when out-of-pocket net price was highest for students in for-profit institutions.

- Between the two most recent study periods (2007–08 and 2011–12), only students in public 4-year colleges faced higher out-of-pocket expenses: $10,800 vs. $11,800. Apparent differences for public 2-year and private nonprofit 4-year institutions were not statistically significant.