Every year, I take the 68 teams in the 2015 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament and fill out a bracket based on colleges with the lowest net price of attendance (defined as the total cost of attendance less all grant aid received). My 2014 and 2013 brackets are preserved for posterity, with Louisiana-Lafayette and North Carolina A&T emerging victorious for having the lowest net price without having won a single game.
In 2015, the final four teams standing (based on net price) are:
MIDWEST REGION: Wichita State [WINNER] (net price of $9,039*, 46% graduation rate, 36% Pell)
WEST REGION: North Carolina (net price of $11,994, 90% graduation rate, 21% Pell)
[An earlier version of this post incorrectly had BYU beating North Carolina. My apologies for that error, which has been corrected.]
EAST REGION: Wyoming (net price of $11,484, 54% graduation rate, 24% Pell)
SOUTH REGION: San Diego State (net price of $9,856, 66% graduation rate, 40% Pell)
All data for the bracket can be found here.
*NOTE: Wichita State has a reported net price of $9,039, but the net prices for each household income bracket are higher than $9,039. Something isn’t right here, but what would March Madness be without any controversy?
Indiana deserves special plaudits for having a net price for the lowest-income students of just $4,632—although the 19% Pell enrollment rate is quite low.
Also, thanks to Andy Saultz for catching an error in the VCU/Ohio State game. Much appreciated!