Ability to Pay by Family Income

About this Indicator

This indicator measures the percentage of family income needed to pay the net price of full-time enrollment for families with median income and low income. The average net price is calculated as the total cost of attendance (tuition and fees, books, supplies, and room and board) minus the average institutional, local, state, and federal grant aid. Median income is defined as the median income for families with own children under 18 years old. Low income is defined as an income equal to the federal poverty level for a family of four ($24,600 in 2017).

Data Source

Net price: National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS: Student financial aid and net price.

Family income: U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey one-year estimates: Median family income in the past 12 months by presence of own children under 18 years.

Note. Due to sampling problems that occurred during the 2020 administration of the American Community Survey, the 2020 income levels represent 2019 income adjusted for inflation to 2020.