National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS)

DATE: September 5, 2017

AUTHOR: Aaron Fernandes


Based on a large survey sample of more than 100,000 students nationwide, NPSAS is the only good source of information for many student finance questions. It combines administrative and survey data to allow researchers to see how costs, aid, income, and family support vary for different groups of students. Statistically meaningful state-level averages are often possible for large states and a handful of oversampled states.

Along with IPEDS, NPSAS is one of the most commonly used primary sources for many studies and reports on postsecondary finance. It provides relatively easy- to-use interactive interfaces. Some features require users to register, but the registration process is simple and open to every one.

Overview link:

Interactive tool:

See either QuickStats or Powerstats links on the overview page above.

Data link:

Student-level data from can be made available on application to researchers under strict data security conditions.

Best for:

Analyzing student and family income sources

Disaggregating student finance data by demographic and economic characteristics

National patterns and largest states

Not as good for:

Trend analysis

50 state comparisons


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.