Undergraduate Student Grant and Loan Percentages over Time

In 2012-13, grants constituted 52% of the funds used by undergraduates to supplement student and family resources, compared to 30% for graduate students. Loans constituted 39% of the funds for undergraduates, compared to 64% for graduate students.

Figure 4A: Grants and Loans as a Percentage of Funds from Total Aid and Nonfederal Loans for Undergraduate Students, 1992-93 to 2012-13

Percentages in Figure 4A are shown as a portion of the total amount of postsecondary funding described in Table 1A, including nonfederal loans in addition to financial aid (grants, federal loans, tax credits and deductions, and Federal Work-Study). In addition to the sources included here, students rely on funds from their families and from their own earnings and savings; they also borrow from other sources. 

Notes & Sources 

SOURCE: Table 4A.

  • The introduction of the unsubsidized Stafford Loan program in the early 1990s led to an increase in the share of funds for undergraduate students in the form of loans from 33% in 1992‑93 to 48% in 1996-97 (and 46% in 1997-98). Not included in this figure are home equity loans, credit card borrowing, and other sources of debt undergraduate students and their parents may have relied on more before unsubsidized federal loans were available.
  • In 2012-13, the combination of federal tax credits and deductions and Federal Work-Study constituted 9% of the student aid and nonfederal loan funds that supplemented student and family payments for the college expenses of undergraduate students; they constituted 6% of these funds for graduate students.