Recent NCES Reports

By Betsy Prueter

The National Center for Education Statistics has recently issued two reports, Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College and The Condition of Education 2014, an annual report to inform policymakers about the progress of education in the United States.

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College reviews trends in out-of-pocket net price (the amount families must pay after subtracting grants, loans, work-study and all other aid from the total price of attendance) and total price for families and students in 2011-2012. The brief shows that despite an increase in grant and student loan aid, out-of-pocket expenses increased in 2011-12 from the previous year in all but for-profit institutions. The biggest increase was for students at non-profit, private institutions (net price rose nearly $5,000). Perhaps unsurprisingly, out-of-pocket expenses were higher for each successive income quartile from the lowest to the highest for both dependent (under 24 and financially dependent on their parents) and independent (over the age of 24) students.

According to The Condition of Education 2014 report, 90% of adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2013 (an increase of 4% from 1990) and 34% had a B.A. or higher (an increase of 11% from 1990).

Among the report’s other findings related to postsecondary education:

  • In 2012, the median earnings for 25-34 year olds with a B.A. degree were more than twice as much as those without high school diplomas.
  • Total undergraduate enrollment was 17.7 million in fall 2012, an increase of 48% from 1990.
    • By 2023, undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase to 20.2 million.
  • 60% of all undergraduate students attended 4-year institutions in fall 2012.
  • Of undergraduate students at 4-year institutions that year, 77% attended full time.
  • Of undergraduate students at 2-year institutions that year 41% were full-time students.
  • The average net price of attendance in 2011–12 for first-time, full-time students was $12,410 at public, 4-year institutions, $21,330 at private, for-profit 4-year institutions, and $23,540 at private, nonprofit 4-year institutions.
  • The percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students at 4-year institutions receiving financial aid increased from 75% in 2006–07 to 85% in 2011–12.
  • Of the 4.7 million students who entered the repayment phase on their student loans in 2011, 10% had defaulted before the end of 2012.
  • In 2011–12, the average student loan amount of $6,800 represented a 36% increase over the 2000–01 average student loan amount of $5,000 (inflation adjusted).
  • 59% of first-time, full-time students who began at a 4-year institution in fall 2006 graduated within 6 years.