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
$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.
$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.