Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuition, Net Price, and Aid

Here's one that's a little more complicated, so I'll give you a head start on how to look at this data.

This shows a lot of data from IPEDS 2011: Sticker costs, and net cost by parental income (3 groups) on the top, and information about financial aid on the bottom, including the percentage of students on Pell Grants, the percentage of students with any aid, loans, or grants.

I've started with the view of the universe: About 1,450 Colleges and Universities that are at the Carnegie Classification of Baccalaureate or above.

Your first move is to look at the data as a pattern, noticing the red squares on top, and the blue and gold squares on the bottom.  They show sticker tuition, the percentage of students with Pell Grants, and the percentage of students with any financial aid.  Got it?

Now, under "Selectivity" choose "Most Selective" and watch what happens.  Maybe the opposite of what you think might: As costs go up, net prices go down for poor kids (on the top) at these institutions.  But on the bottom, you see that colleges with higher sticker costs have fewer students getting any aid; and although many of these places say they meet full demonstrated need, they have far fewer students on Pell Grants.

Go ahead and play with this a bit.  Hover over squares to see details; select and filter to your heart's content.