Seventy percent of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid during the 2011-12 award year according to data released yesterday by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in “Digest of Education Statistics, 2013.” The report, a compilation of statistical information covering education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school, includes data from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B) based on the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS), and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) among others.
According to the report, of the 70 percent of undergraduates who received aid, 59.1 percent received grants and 41.9 percent received loans. Though the average amount awarded in federal grants at all institutions dropped $336 from $4,755 in 2010-11 to $4,419 in 2011-12 (in current dollars), the average amount of federal grant aid has increased $1,680 over the past decade, the report showed. The average amount awarded in state and/or local grants at all institutions only saw a slight bump, increasing $26 between 2010-2011 and 2011-12, and the amount awarded in these types of grants has been steadily climbing – despite state divestment that resulted from the economic downturn – increasing $853 over the past ten years.
Despite news stories of late discussing people who have racked up student loan debt upwards of $100,000, the report shows that is not the case for the majority of undergraduate students. The average cumulative amount borrowed for undergraduate education by full-time, first-year students from 2007-08 through 2011-12 was $15,170 in current dollars. The report also looked at the percentage of undergraduate students ages 18 to 24 in their 4th year or above who had ever received federal undergraduate loans, nonfederal loans, or Federal Parent PLUS loan, and average cumulative amount borrowed. The chart showed a considerable increase in the total percentage of those receiving federal loans; from 50.4 percent in 1989-90 up to 67.7 percent in 2011-12. It also showed an increase in the total average cumulative loan amount for students with loans (constant 2012-13 dollars) which rose from $14,900 in 1989-90 to $25,900 in 2011-12.
The average amount borrowed for full-time, full-year students pursuing postbaccalaureate education was understandably higher than for undergraduates. The data showed the cumulative borrowing for their undergraduate and graduate education was $74,710 in 2011-12, up from $54,980 in 2007-2008. According to the report 86.1 percent of full-time, full-year students who went on to postbaccalaureate education received some type of aid. Of those who received aid 62.3 received federal aid, 2.4 received state aid, 42.2 received institutional funds, and 10.2 received funding from their employer, the report said.
See below for other key findings of the report that pertain to postsecondary education.
Newly included statistics for the 2013 digest:
Publication Date: 5/8/2015