College Affordability and Transparency Lists
Congress required the U.S. Department of Education to annually report to the public data on College Affordability and Transparency in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. By law, these lists, which were first released in 2011, highlight, by sector, institutions with the highest tuition and fees, highest net price, and highest rates of tuition and net price increases. Colleges with the lowest tuition and fees, and lowest net price are also highlighted. Here is a link to the site
where the Department publishes the lists each year.
The lists are broken down by the nine IPEDS education sector categories (e.g., private not-for-profit, public, private for-profit; 4-year, 2-year, less-than-2-year institutions). For each of the nine sectors, the lists are:
- The top 5 percent most expensive institutions in terms of tuition and fees in the most recent preceding academic year for which data is available.
- The top 5 percent most expensive institutions in terms of net price in the previous academic year.
- The top 5 percent of institutions with the largest percentage change in tuition and fees over the three previous academic years.
- The top 5 percent of institutions with the largest percentage change in net price over the three previous academic years.
- The 10 percent of institutions with the lowest tuition and fees in the previous academic year.
- The 10 percent of institutions with the lowest net price in the previous academic year.
Institutions with the highest rates of tuition and net price increases over a three-year period are required to submit special reports to the Secretary of Education. NAICU expects the 2014 form to appear as follows: CATC List Explanation Form_2014
FAQS: College Affordability and Transparency Lists, 2014
Q. How will I know if my institution appears on a list?
At least 24 hours prior to public posting of the College Affordability and Transparency Lists, NCES sends out a notification to the IPEDS’ keyholders via email.
Q. Where will the lists be posted?
The lists will be posted in the College Affordability and Transparency Center
which is also linked from the College Navigator website homepage
. The Center includes several lists of institutions based on the tuition and fees and average net price (the price of attendance after considering all grant and scholarship aid) charged to students.
Q. Why is NCES posting them?
These lists meet requirements outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). By law, the lists must be updated annually and posted on the College Navigator website, in the College Affordability and Transparency Center section, no later than July 1st.
Q. How were the calculations made?
Additional information on the methodology for creating the lists is included on the College Affordability and Transparency Center. All data is initially drawn from institution IPEDS’ survey data submissions, and marries to information that will be displayed on your institution’s College Navigator profile and the College Scorecard profile (note: there may be a slight lag time in posting across all federal consumer information websites).
Q. Where does the data come from?
The 2014 lists are based on data submitted to IPEDS during the 2012-13 IPEDS data collection cycle, the most recent data that have undergone the full NCES data review process and been publicly released via the IPEDS Data Center. The data draws from the Institutional Characteristics survey and the Student Financial Aid survey.
Q. My data is wrong; can I revise it?
No. Institutions had the opportunity to review and revise their data during the 2012-13 IPEDS data collection year through the Prior Year Revision System. No additional revisions will be accepted by NCES/IPEDS at this point.
Q. What happens if my institution is on one of the lists?
If your institution is on either of the “increase lists” for your sector – the lists showing the highest increases in tuition and fees and/or average net price – you will be required under HEOA to provide additional information to the Department. Department officials will send you a form to fill out. NAICU expects the 2014 form to appear as follows: CATC List Explanation Form_2014
Q. Who do I contact if I have questions about the methodology?
First, please review the methodology information available within the College Affordability and Transparency Center itself. If you still have questions, please send your questions via email to the IPEDS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org