Student financing of undergraduate education: 2003-04, with a special analysis of the net price of attendance and federal education tax benefits. Statistical analysis report (NCES 2006-186)

Citation

Berkner, L., & Wei, C. C. (2006). Student financing of undergraduate education: 2003-04, with a special analysis of the net price of attendance and federal education tax benefits. Statistical analysis report (NCES 2006-186). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

Abstract

This report, based on data from the 2003-04 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:04), provides detailed information about undergraduate tuition and total price of attendance at various types of institutions, the percentage of students receiving various types of financial aid, and the average amounts that they received. In 2003-04, three-quarters of all full-time undergraduates received some type of financial aid ($9,900 average). One-half took out student loans ($6,200 average), and 62 percent received grants ($5,600 average). Forty percent received both grants and loans (combined average $13,600). The average tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates in 2003-04 were $2,000 at public 2-year, $5,400 at public 4-year, and $18,400 at private not-for-profit 4-year institutions. About one-fourth of full-time undergraduates did not pay any tuition, because the entire tuition amount was covered by grants. Nearly one-half of full-time low-income dependent undergraduates had their entire tuition amount covered by grant aid. The total price of attendance (tuition plus room and board and other expenses) for full-time undergraduates in 2003-04 was $10,500 at public 2-year, $15,200 at public 4-year, and $28,300 at private not-for-profit 4-year institutions. After subtracting all financial aid (including loans), the average out-of-pocket net price of attendance for full-time low-income dependent undergraduates was $6,000 at public 2-year, $5,600 at public 4-year and $9,200 at private nonprofit 4-year institutions. In addition, this report presents estimates of the federal education tax benefits for students (Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits, and tuition deductions): nearly one-half (49 percent) of all undergraduates or their parents had their taxes reduced by an average of $600 by claiming these benefits. Middle-income students were the most likely to receive these tax benefits. Among the families of upper-middle-income students, more than two-thirds (69 percent) received an average reduction in federal taxes of $1,100.