Postsecondary Studies: Publications, Education Analysis, and Reporting for Sample Surveys, Assessments, and Administrative Data Collections

Project Overview

On behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education, Insight is analyzing and reporting research data related to postsecondary education in the United States. These reports are designed to address a variety of topics, including costs associated with postsecondary education that are of interest to federal and state policymakers because of concerns about the affordability and accessibility of college, particularly given that individuals with at least some college often show improved economic outcomes (e.g., higher employment rates, higher earnings) compared to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Insight is currently producing two Statistics in Brief (SIB) reports and two series of Web Tables on the cost of postsecondary education and financial needs of undergraduate students using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16). These reports highlight different categories of college costs (e.g., tuition, net price of college after subtracting grants), types of financial aid (e.g., grants, loans), and family contributions and student financial need across institution types and selected student characteristics. Both publically facing, the SIB and Web Tables contribute to the national discourse on the affordability and accessibility of college in the United States.


  • Analyzes NPSAS:16 undergraduate data using NCES’s online PowerStats tool
  • Creates tables and figures using data estimates produced in PowerStats in accordance with NCES guidelines
  • Summarizes and frames key findings in SIB and Web Table reports


  • SIB on price of college (August 2019)
  • SIB on low-income students (July 2019)
  • Web Table Report on total price of attendance, tuition, and fees by select institution and student characteristics (February 2019)
  • Web Table Report on net price of college and financial need by select institution and student characteristics (March 2019)