NCES: Student Borrowing, Use of Financial Aid Drops at For-Profit Institutions

By Joelle Fredman, NASFAA Staff Reporter

Students are taking out less in federal loans and a lower number of students are receiving financial aid to attend private, for-profit institutions, according to new data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The 2018 report, “The Condition of Higher Education,” found that while across the board, average, annual undergraduate tuition and fees increased by 15 percent between 2010-11 and 2015-16, (from $10,500 to $12,100) those costs decreased at four-year and two-year private, for-profit institutions by 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively. The cost of one year of tuition and fees in 2015-16 was $14,400 at four-year, for-profit institutions and $14,700 at two-year, for-profit institutions, compared with $15,100 for both institution-types in 2010-11.

The report also found that the average, annual undergraduate student loan amount decreased from 2015-16 to 2010-11 by 2 percent — from $7,300 to $7,100. Broken up by sector, loan amounts were 2 percent higher at four-year public and private, nonprofit institutions in 2015-16, however average loan amounts at private, for-profit four years schools dropped 8 percent. Still, the average dollar amount of loans at private, for-profit institutions ($8,600) was higher than any other sector.

Further, only 46 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduates took out loans to fund their education in 2015-16 — down from 50 percent in 2010-11. The largest decrease in students taking out loans among four-year institutions during this period was at private, for-profit institutions, which saw a drop from 83 to 73 percent. At public, four-year institutions and private, nonprofit institutions those figures decreased by 4 and 3 percent, respectively. Among two-year institutions, private, for-profit institutions also experienced the largest decrease at 7 percent.   

In addition to taking out less in loans, fewer students at four-year, private, for-profit institutions were awarded financial aid in 2015-16 than in 2010-11 — from 91 percent to 87 percent of students. Two-year institutions in the same sector also saw a decrease in the number of students receiving aid, from 90 percent to 86 percent.

Broken up by the kind of aid received, the report found that among four-year institutions, private, for-profit institutions enrolled the most students receiving federal grants (65 percent), compared with public institutions (37 percent) and private, nonprofit institutions (32 percent). However, state and local grants were most often awarded to students at four-year, public institutions (37 percent) than at private, nonprofits (25 percent) and private, for-profits (11 percent). Among two-year institutions, private, for-profit institutions also enrolled the largest number of students receiving federal student aid (82 percent) and the least number of students receiving state and local grants (7 percent).

The full report also contains information about enrollment trends, institution expenses and degrees conferred.


Publication Date: 5/29/2018

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.
View Desktop Version