NASFAA Releases National Student Aid Profile: Overview of 2015 Federal Student Aid Programs


Annually-updated Resource Offers Insight Into Student Aid Issues And Funding

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) today released an updated edition of its annual federal student aid primer, the National Student Aid Profile, to better inform members of the media, policymakers and other interested parties about the facts surrounding student aid issues and funding.

“Strong federal student aid programs are more important than ever in ensuring students have the funding they need to make it to and through college," said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. "With debate heating up on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, NASFAA’s National Student Aid Profile is a reference policymakers and the public can rely on to familiarize themselves with the purpose and utilization of student aid programs as we work together to provide students access to college.”

Department of Education (ED) data show the number of students applying for federal financial assistance increased from around 19.4 million in 2007-2008 to nearly 31.4 million in the 2011-2012 award year, a 62 percent increase over five years. For the 2012-13 academic year approximately 9.4 million students received a Federal Pell Grant and 74 percent had a family income of less than $30,000. In the 2013-14 academic year, approximately 6.9 and 7.9 million borrowers received direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized loans, respectively, totaling more than $77.3 billion dollars.

As members of Congress continue to debate the best ways to reform and strengthen the federal aid programs, it is of the utmost importance that both policymakers and the general public understand these programs and the students they serve. NASFAA’s National Student Aid Profile: Overview of 2015 Federal Programs provides the latest data available from ED and the College Board about the programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, including:

  • Descriptions of the federal student aid programs, including the: 
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
    • Federal Work-Study
    • Federal Perkins Loan Program
    • Federal Direct Student Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)
    • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • For each program, in addition to a basic description, you will find the most up-to-date data and information on the following:
    • Number of Recipients
    • Total Volume of Awards
    • Federal Funding Levels 
    • Distribution by Family Income

The National Student Aid Profile will be presented today to congressional staffers as part of a policy orientation for those interested in gaining the critical knowledge they need to help shape better, more effective financial aid policy that ultimately increases access and success for students.

NASFAA has experts available to speak to reporters as they write about student financial aid issues. Please contact us at or 202-785-6959 for additional information or to schedule an interview.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit

Publication Date: 7/28/2015

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