Tuition Datum Mystery Solved!

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

In this recent post, I noted that a blogger had cited a datum for private school tuition levels in the U.S. in 2003-04, attributing it to NCES. Since I knew that tuition levels aren’t collected in the Private School Universe Survey, and that the most recent datum I’d seen from NCES was from 1999-2000, I wondered whether the blogger had mistakenly used an old datum, or if NCES was putting out new private school tuition data and I missed it.

Turns out it was neither! Well, not really.

I’ve been offline for a few days while moving, and when I got back I discovered a very nice note from Bill Evers at IES. He says NCES does indeed still collect private school tuition data, but in the Schools and Staffing Survey, not the Private School Universe Survey. (You can’t tell your surveys without a scorecard.) It’s collected every four years.

But I don’t have to feel bad about missing it, because the updated data haven’t been incorporated into the NCES web tables yet. If you know exactly where to click, though, you can access it.

Many thanks to the good people at IES for 1) collecting the data we need, which is a huge job that they do very well, and 2) taking a minute to straighten me out on this question. I’ve said some hard things about IES’s recent misadventure publishing that HLM study of private schools, but I hope nobody doubts my respect for their work in all other regards.

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