EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — October 16, 2014

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Net Price: America's Most Expensive Public Universities


The chart below represents the net price of the highest-priced public universities in the United States for 2012-13. Net price is the average cost of attendance (i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, books) of the university minus average grants and scholarships utilized by students. This calculation does not include loans, and nor should it. Too many students and parents are persuaded that the "price" of college and university is the cost minus all aid. That is incorrect because loans, unless forgiven, become debt.

The universities on this list can argue that the data below do not showcase what they do for many students with financial need. But these data, from the US Department of Education, clearly and accurately depict the average net price of these institutions. This is not a good list to be on. Particularly note how many of these institutions are from Pennsylvania and Ohio, epitomizing their public policy related to college affordability.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2012, Institutional Characteristics component and Winter 2012-13, Student Financial Aid component (Final).