beginning of content:

How Much Aid Are Students Getting?

$246.0 billion: The total amount of aid that undergraduate and graduate students received in 2018-19 from all grants, loans, tax credits, and work-study.

Average aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in 2018-19 was:

  • $15,210 per undergraduate student
  • $28,140 per graduate student

Grant Aid

$135.6 billion: The total amount of grant aid received by undergraduate and graduate students in 2018-19.

Federal grant aid: In 2018-19, total federal grant aid was $41.3 billion including $28.2 billion in Pell Grants. Since 2010-11, federal grant aid—including Pell Grants—has been declining as a proportion of the total grant aid.

State grants: Aid from states has been increasing over the past 6 years, and the amount varies by state. In 2017-18, state grant aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student ranged from under $200 in 9 states to over $1,000 in 12 states.

Institutional grant aid: Aid from colleges and universities is the only type of grant aid that grew rapidly over the past 6 years, from $49.8 billion (in 2018 dollars) in 2012-13 to $64.7 billion in 2018-19.

Aid from Loans

$106.2 billion: The total amount that parents and students borrowed to pay for postsecondary education in 2018-19.

  • This was the eighth consecutive year that annual borrowing declined.

Student Debt

$29,000: The average amount borrowed by 2017-18 bachelor’s degree recipients who took out loans to pay for college. This is a 1% increase over the average amount borrowed in 2012-13.

Students from higher-income families are less likely than others to finance their bachelor’s degrees through borrowing.

To find out more about any of the highlighted data, visit our resource library or download the Full Trends in Student Aid 2019 report.