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The data used in this analysis is from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Net price and financial aid data is for the 2016-2017 school year—the most recent data available. Statistics on enrollment, tuition, fees, room, and board are from the 2017-2018 school year, which is also the most recent data available.

Net price data is for full-time undergraduate students entering postsecondary education for the first time and awarded Title IV aid. Average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, and scholarship aid from the total published price of attendance. Total price of attendance includes published tuition and fees, books, supplies, room, board, and other expenses.

For this analysis, the average net price for students in both the $0-$30,000 and the $30,001-$48,000 income brackets were evaluated. Both average net price data fields were converted to percentiles, and the percentiles were averaged to derive a composite affordability score. Institutions were then ranked by this composite score.

Only private, not-for-profit, degree-granting, four-year or above institutions with at least 1,000 undergraduates are included. Additionally, special-focus institutions (e.g. performing arts, health, faith-related, etc.), online/distance education institutions, and institutions located in U.S. territories were filtered out.

For a complete list of the top 100 most affordable private colleges and universities for low-income students, see the original story on HeyTutor.


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