National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) Series

Investigator(s): United States Department of Education. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics

The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) series is a comprehensive study designed and implemented by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement with assistance from other federal offices, various associations, and the research community. It grew out of a need for a comprehensive database on postsecondary student financial aid. NPSAS is a student- and former student-based source of data to provide information on how postsecondary student financial aid is targeted, received, and used. The survey focused on Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) recipients. It includes nationally representative samples of students in all types of postsecondary schools, such as public and private schools, not-for-profits and for-profit schools, two-year and four-year schools, and schools with only occupational programs of less than two years' duration. The NPSAS sample includes students of all academic levels such as undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional students. It includes students who did and did not receive student financial aid, thus allowing comparisons of the costs and financing of education between these groups. A significant component of the NPSAS is the Student Loan Recipient Transcript Survey (SLRS), which collected postsecondary school transcripts for GSL recipients surveyed in the SLRS. This component was designed to provide the means to analyze basic policy issues such as the relationships between educational activities and ability to cope with indebtedness, and the patterns of student loan repayment or default. A parent survey was also conducted in order to provide a total picture of how families pay for college costs. Also conducted was a survey of all types of institutions, abstracted from the GSL files, for the purpose of obtaining the formal transcripts or other equivalent records of GSL recipients' educational activities. Comprehensive student interviews and administrative records, with exceptional detail concerning student financial aid, are available for all eligible students who left postsecondary schooling between 1976 and 1985.

For more information, visit NPSAS at NCES.