Trends in Student Aid: Highlights

Review highlights from the Trends in Student Aid 2022 report. You can find the full report, Excel data, and PowerPoint presentation in the Resources section at the bottom of this page.

How Much Aid Are Students Getting?

$234.6 billion: The total amount of aid that undergraduate and graduate students received in 2021-22 from all grants, federal loans, tax credits, and federal work-study.

Average aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in 2021-22 was:

  • $15,330 per undergraduate student
  • $27,300 per graduate student

Grant Aid

$140.6 billion: The total amount of grant aid received by undergraduate and graduate students in 2021-22.

Federal grant aid: In 2021-22, total federal grant aid was $36.5 billion including $25.9 billion in Pell Grants. Since 2010-11, federal grant aid—including Pell Grants—has been declining as a share of the total grant aid.

State grants: Aid from states has been increasing over the past nine years, and the amount varies by state. In 2020-21, state grant aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student ranged from under $200 in eight states to over $2,000 in three states.

Institutional grant aid: Aid from colleges and universities grew rapidly over the past 10 years, from $50.2 billion (in 2021 dollars) in 2011-12 to $74.4 billion in 2021-22.


$94.7 billion: The total amount that parents and students borrowed in federal and nonfederal loans to pay for postsecondary education in 2021-22.

  • This was the 11th consecutive year that annual borrowing declined.

Student Debt

$29,100: The average amount borrowed by 2020-21 bachelor’s degree recipients who took out loans to pay for college. It was $29,900 in 2010-11 and $32,100 in 2015-16.

As of March 2022, 33% of borrowers owed less than $10,000 and 21% owed between $10,000 and $20,000 in federal loan debt. These borrowers held 4% and 8% of the outstanding federal debt, respectively.