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Financial aid

Question:
Do you have any statistics on financial aid for postsecondary undergraduates?

Response:

Grants and loans are the major forms of federal financial aid for first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students. The largest federal grant program available to undergraduate students is the Pell Grant program. In order to qualify for a Pell Grant, a student must demonstrate financial need. Some federal loan programs are available to all students and some are based on financial need. Other sources of financial aid include state and local governments, institutions, and private sources, as well as private loans. The forms of financial aid discussed in this Fast Fact are only those provided directly to students. For example, student loans include only loans made directly to students; they do not include Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and other loans made directly to parents.

At 4-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions, the percentage of first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who were awarded financial aid was higher in academic year 2016–17 (85 percent) than in 2000–01 (75 percent).1 The pattern of higher percentages of students being awarded aid in 2016–17 than in 2000–01 was observed for public (83 vs. 71 percent), private nonprofit (89 vs. 83 percent), and private for-profit (85 vs. 64 percent) 4-year institutions. Over a more recent time period, similar percentages of students overall were awarded aid in 2010–11 and 2016–17 (85 percent in both years). This pattern was also observed for public (83 percent in both 2010–11 and 2016–17) and private nonprofit (89 percent in both years) 4-year institutions. In contrast, at private for-profit 4-year institutions, the percentage of students awarded financial aid was lower in 2016–17 (85 percent) than in 2010–11 (91 percent).


Percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students awarded financial aid at 4-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution: Academic years 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, and 2016–17

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Student financial aid includes any federal and private loans to students and federal, state/local, and institutional grants. Student loans include only loans made directly to students; they do not include Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and other loans made directly to parents. For academic years 2000–01 and 2005–06, the percentage represents students receiving aid, rather than students awarded aid. Students receiving aid are those who not only were awarded aid but also accepted it. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.


At 2-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions, the percentage of first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who were awarded financial aid was higher in academic year 2016–17 (78 percent) than in 2000–01 (62 percent). This pattern was also observed for students at public 2-year institutions (where 75 percent were awarded aid in 2016–17 vs. 57 percent in 2000–01) and at private nonprofit 2-year institutions (where 93 percent of students were awarded aid in 2016–17 vs. 78 percent in 2000–01). At private for-profit 2-year institutions, the percentage of students awarded aid in 2016–17 (85 percent) was lower than in 2010–11 (90 percent), but higher than in 2000–01 (84 percent).


Percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students awarded financial aid at 2-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution: Academic years 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, and 2016–17

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Student financial aid includes any federal and private loans to students and federal, state/local, and institutional grants. Student loans include only loans made directly to students; they do not include Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and other loans made directly to parents. For academic years 2000–01 and 2005–06, the percentage represents students receiving aid, rather than students awarded aid. Students receiving aid are those who not only were awarded aid but also accepted it. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.


1 Student financial aid includes any federal and private loans to students and federal, state/local, and institutional grants. For academic years 2000–01 and 2005–06, the percentage of students with financial aid was reported as the percentage of students who “received aid.” Starting with academic year 2010–11, postsecondary institutions reported the same data as the percentage of students who “were awarded aid” to better reflect that some students were awarded aid but did not receive it.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). The Condition of Education 2019 (NCES 2019-144), Sources of Financial Aid.

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