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Report Documents Wide Range in the Price of Colleges

Getting ready for college academically is one challenge. The other part of the access equation is money.

How much you pay varies widely depending on what type of institution you attend, according to a U.S. Department of Education report released Monday by the National Center for Educational Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences.

Here's the total average price of full-time attendance (tuition and living expenses) for undergraduates as chronicled by What is the Price of College? Total, Net and Out-of-Pocket Prices in 2007-2008:

&mdash$12,600 at public, two-year schools
&mdash$18,900 at public, four-year colleges
&mdash$28,600 at for-profit institutions
&mdash$35,500 at private, nonprofit colleges

To meet these expenses, 80 percent of full-time students receive some form of grants, loans, work study or other type of aid.

After all financial aid is received, the average out-of-pocket net price ranged:
&mdash$9,100 at public two-year institutions
&mdash$10,300 at public four-year colleges
&mdash$16,000 at for-profit institutions
&mdash$16,600 at private nonprofit four-year schools.

Students who attend for-profit schools are more likely to receive federal grants and loans at higher rates than others, the report shows. Low-income students at for-profits paid, on average, $11,700 of their own money to attend, compared to $6,000 to $9,800 for those attending elsewhere.

Data from the report comes from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study and includes information from 114,000 students at 1,700 institutions.

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