The proportions of American undergraduates who received federal financial aid (57 percent) or at least some form of financial aid (71 percent) in 2011-12 both rose considerably from 2007-8, when the proportions were 47 percent and 66 percent, respectively, a new federal report shows.
The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics releases every four years, provides a wealth of data about how students are financing their higher education, based on a survey of about 100,000 students.
Among other findings:
- About 40 percent of students borrowed federal loan funds in 2011-12, up from 35 percent in 2007-8. The average amount they borrowed rose to about $6,400 from about $5,000.
- The proportion of students on federal grants rose sharply, to 42 percent from 28 percent, due to a significant expansion (now partially undone) in funding and eligibility criteria for Pell Grants.
- The proportion of students on state grants remained largely flat, at 15 percent, but the percentage of full-time dependent students on state grants dipped to 26 percent from 29 percent, as some states contracted their aid funds.
- Colleges slow tuition growth, but financial aid is not keeping pace, report shows
- The Rapid Rise of Merit Aid
- Four surprising findings on debt and default among community college students
- Report shows slowdown of tuition increases, education borrowing
- Congressional study explores costs of and possible changes to Pell program
- Reports find student aid shift from states to federal government
- Student Aid Remains a State Priority
- For a Change, Default Rates Rise
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