Undergraduate Students: Federal Loan Programs in Current and Constant Dollars over Time

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In 2012-13, 8.4 million undergraduate students took out Federal Direct Loans. There were 7.5 million subsidized Stafford borrowers and 7.1 million unsubsidized Stafford borrowers. In other words, 16% of borrowers took only subsidized loans, 11% took only unsubsidized loans and 73% took both types of Stafford Loans.

Table 6A: Undergraduate Students: Number of Borrowers (in Thousands) and Average Amount Borrowed Through Federal Loan Programs in Current and Constant (2012) Dollars, 1997-98 to 2012-13, Selected Years
Notes & Sources 

NOTE: The average Federal Loan per borrower, reported in the top section of this table, combines all loans issued to individual students. Average loan figures combine multiple loans to individuals and refer to average amounts borrowed from the program. The "subsidized and unsubsidized" average loan amounts combine borrowing from both components of the Direct Loan program.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), extracted September 25, 2013.

  • The average Direct Loan per undergraduate borrower rose from $5,911 (in 2012 Dollars) in 2002-03 to $5,963 in 2007-08, and to $6,764 in 2012-13.
  • The number of PLUS Loans for parents of undergraduate students increased from 563,000 in 2002-03, to 671,000 in 2007-08, and to 709,000 in 2012-13.