Average Aid per Student over Time

2016-17, undergraduate students received an average of $14,400 in aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) student, including $8,440 in grants from all sources, $4,620 in federal loans, and $1,340 in a combination of tax credits and deductions and Federal Work-Study (FWS).

Figure 1: Average Aid per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student in 2016 Dollars, 1996-97 to 2016-17

Figure 1 represents Average Aid per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student in 2016 Dollars, 1996-97 to 2016-17. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, see https://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid.

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Loans reported here include only federal loans to students and parents. Grants from all sources are included. “Other Aid” includes federal education tax credits and deductions and Federal Work-Study. Dollar values are rounded to the nearest $10.

Sources: Trends in Student Aid, Table 3.

  • Federal loans per FTE undergraduate student peaked at $5,730 (in 2016 dollars) in 2010-11, before declining for six consecutive years to $4,620 in 2016-17.
  • After a sharp increase from $5,650 (in 2016 dollars) in 2008-09 to $7,600 in 2010-11, grant aid per FTE undergraduate rose over the next six years to $8,440 in 2016-17.
  • In 2016-17, graduate students received an average of $27,950 in aid per FTE student, including $9,290 in grants from all sources, $17,710 in federal loans, and $950 in a combination of tax credits and deductions and FWS.
  • Federal loans per FTE graduate student declined from $18,860 (in 2016 dollars) in 2010-11 to $17,020 in 2014-15, but rose in each of the next two years to $17,710 in 2016-17.
  • Grant aid per graduate student increased by $1,830 (in 2016 dollars) between 2010-11 and 2016-17, primarily because of large increases in institutional grant aid. (Table 1B online)