Total Student Aid and Nonfederal Loans in 2016 Dollars over Time

In 2016-17, undergraduate and graduate students received a total of $239.1 billion in student aid in the form of grants from all sources, Federal Work-Study, federal loans, and federal tax credits and deductions.

Table 1: Total Student Aid and Nonfederal Loans in 2016 Dollars (in Millions), 2006-07 to 2016-17

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Table 1 excludes a variety of small federal grant and loan programs as well as some small programs for veterans and members of the military. The latest available data for education tax benefits are for calendar year 2015. Later figures are estimates. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds reflect federal allocations and do not include the required matching funds from institutions. Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Sources: See Notes and Sources for a list of sources for data included in Table 1.

  • The federal government’s share of total student aid increased from 66% in 2006-07 to 74% in 2010-11, but fell to 64% in 2016-17.
  • Loans constituted 70% to 71% of federal student aid from 2006-07 through 2008-09. This share fell to 63% in 2009-10 and was between 60% and 62% from 2010-11 through 2016-17.
  • The share of federal student aid in the form of grants increased from 19% in 2006-07 to 27% in 2010-11 and remained at 26% to 27% through 2016-17.
  • Total federal grant aid doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2006-07 and 2016-17. During this 10-year period, Pell Grants increased by 75% and veterans’ benefits increased by 300%. Over the decade, Pell Grants fell from 76% to 66% as a share of federal grant aid and veterans’ benefits increased from 16% to 32% of the total.