Percentage of Undergraduate Students Borrowing Stafford Loans over Time

In 2012-13, 34% of undergraduate students took out federal subsidized or unsubsidized loans to help finance their education. In 2002-03, this percentage was 29%.

Figure 9A: Percentage of Undergraduate Students Borrowing Federal Loans, 2002-03, 2007-08, and 2012-13
Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Percentages are based on preliminary IPEDS estimates of undergraduate headcount enrollment at Title IV–participating institutions. Some students may be counted more than once if they enrolled in more than one institution, leading to a slight underestimate of the percentage borrowing. Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.

SOURCES: NCES, Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions and Financial Statistics and Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in the United States, Annual Publications, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education; NCES, IPEDS preliminary data; NSLDS; calculations by the authors.

  • The percentage of undergraduate students taking only federal subsidized loans declined from 12% in 2007-08 to 5% in 2012-13. The percentage taking both subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans increased from 13% to 25% during these years.