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Nearly Three-Quarters of Undergraduates Received Some Type of Financial Aid in 2019-20

Forty percent of undergraduates received federal Pell Grants to finance education

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid in the 2019-20 academic year, according to data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The average amount of aid received was $14,100.

"The data released today show the role that financial aid plays in financing undergraduates' education," said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. "More than half of all undergraduates received federal aid, with the percentage of undergraduates who received federal aid being 55 percent in both 2015-16 and 2019-20. However, we found that there have been changes in the types of aid received over time. The percentage of undergraduates who received Pell Grants increased from 39 percent in 2015-16 to 40 percent in 2019-20 and the percentage of undergraduates receiving Direct Loans declined from 36 percent to 34 percent."

Fifty-five percent of all undergraduates received federal student aid, while 23 percent received state and 28 percent received institution aid. The average amount of federal student aid, including federal loans, for undergraduates who received it was $8,700, more than double the amount of state aid, but less than the average amount of institution aid for undergraduates who received it.

The 2019-20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20) is the most comprehensive national study of student financing of postsecondary education in the United States. It is a nationally representative study of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled any time between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. This report includes information collected from undergraduate and graduate students attending postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Along with information collected directly from students through surveys, NPSAS includes administrative data compiled from multiple sources including institutional records, Department financial aid databases, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the National Student Clearinghouse. For more information on the NPSAS:20 design and data sources, please visit https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2023466.

This report released today focuses on the percentages of students receiving various types of financial aid and average amounts received; financial aid estimates provided by type of institution attended, gender, race/ethnicity, attendance pattern, and income level; and percentages and average amounts of financial aid additionally described by dependency status for undergraduate students and by graduate program for graduate students. In addition to national estimates for both undergraduate and graduate students, NPSAS:20 also allows for state-level estimates for undergraduate students in 30 states. Supplemental tables featuring state-level percentages of students receiving financial aid and average amounts received for undergraduate students are available online.

More Key Findings

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

The National Center for Education Statistics, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition and progress of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.

Follow NCES on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES Newsflash to receive email notifications when new data is released.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.

Josh Delarosa, National Center for Education Statistics, [email protected]
James Elias, Hager Sharp, [email protected]

SOURCE National Center for Education Statistics

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