Total Graduate Student Aid in 2012 Dollars over Time

In 2012-13, federal loans constituted 63% of the $53.4 billion in student aid received by graduate students, who also rely on fellowships and assistantships provided by their universities. Federal grants accounted for only 3% of graduate student aid.

Table 1B: Total Graduate Student Aid in 2012 Dollars (in Millions), 1992-93 to 2012-13, Selected Years
Notes & Sources 

Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. The latest available data for education tax benefits are for calendar year 2011. Estimates for later years are based on these data. FWS funds reflect federal allocations made to institutions and do not include the required matching funds from institutions.

  • Despite its relatively small role, federal grant aid for graduate students almost tripled between 2002-03 and 2012-13, as aid to veterans pursuing graduate study increased from $261 million (in 2012 dollars) to $1.2 billion.
  • The 18% of graduate student aid that came in the form of institutional grants in 2012-13 constituted 59% of all grant aid for graduate students.
  • The estimated 9% of graduate student aid that came in the form of grants from employers and other private sources constituted 29% of all grants to graduate students.
  • Total federal grants for graduate students increased from $611 million (in 2012 dollars) in 2002-03 to $1.8 billion in 2012-13. Federal loans grew from $17.4 billion to $33.7 billion over the decade, declining from 64% to 63% of total aid.