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College Students Often Pay Less Than Sticker Price

Students shouldn't let the sticker price of college deter them from considering the pursuit of a degree.

A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows a wide gap between the average price and the amount that students actually paid for school.

Here are the findings among full-time, first-time, degree- or certificate-seeking undergraduate students in the 2010-11 academic year:

4-year public institution:
Average price before aid: $17,600
Net price, after subtracting grant aid: $11,000

4-year private, nonprofit:
Average price: $34,000
Net price: $19,800

4-year for-profit institution:
Average price: $27,900
Net price: $22,500.

In the report, "Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2011 and Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2010-11- First Look (Provisional Data)," the calculation of net price of attendance does not include loan aid. The analysis uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS).

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