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NPSAS: Executive Summary Student Financing of Undergraduate Education: 1999-2000
Tuition and the Total Price of Attendance
Financial Aid, Price of Attendance, and Income
Financial Aid by Type of Institution Attended
The Sources of Financial Aid
Student Loans
Student Borrowing at Different Types of Institutions
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

During the 1999–2000 academic year, about 16.5 million1 undergraduates were enrolled in postsecondary institutions for all or part of the year, as full- or part-time students. More than one-half (55 percent) of them received some type of financial aid from federal, state, institutional, or other sources to meet their educational expenses, receiving, on average, $6,200. This report describes the financing of undergraduate education by students who were enrolled in U.S. postsecondary institutions during the 1999–2000 academic year. It is based on data from the 1999–2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000), the fifth in a series of surveys conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education. Each NPSAS survey is a comprehensive nationwide study to determine how students and their families pay for postsecondary education.

The two major types of financial aid awarded to students are grants and loans. In 1999–2000, 44 percent of all undergraduates received grants, for an average of $3,500. Twenty-nine percent of all undergraduates received student loans, averaging $5,100. In addition, 5 percent of all undergraduates held work-study jobs, earning an average of $1,700, and 7 percent received other types of aid, including veteran’s benefits, job training and vocational rehabilitation funds, and federal PLUS loans to parents.

Many undergraduates received more than one type of financial aid in their aid "package." For 7 percent of all undergraduates, student loans were the only type of financial aid received; 22 percent took out loans but were also awarded grants or other aid; and 27 percent had aid packages that included grants, work-study, or other aid, but no loans. Those who had aid packages consisting of loans and other aid averaged $10,600 in total aid, compared with $5,200 for those with loans only and $2,900 for those without loans.

Thirty-nine percent of all undergraduates were enrolled full time for a full academic year in 1999–2000, but the proportion varied by type of institution, from more than one-half of the undergraduates at 4-year institutions to about one-fifth at public 2-year institutions. Among full-time, full-year undergraduates, about three-fourths (73 percent) relied on some type of financial aid to help pay for their postsecondary education, receiving an average of $8,500.

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