Average Aid per Student over Time

Federal loans per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student declined in 2017-18 for the seventh consecutive year. Loans per student declined from $5,830 (in 2017 dollars) in 2010-11 to $4,510 in 2017-18.

Figure 1: Average Aid per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student in 2017 Dollars, 1997-98 to 2017-18

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 (FWS). Undergraduate and graduate shares of some forms of aid were estimated using NPSAS data and were updated. Dollar values are rounded to the nearest $10.

SOURCE: Table 3.

  • Federal loans per FTE graduate student declined from a peak of $19,180 in 2010-11 to $17,340 in 2014-15 before rising to $17,990 in 2017-18.
  • Grant aid per FTE undergraduate rose by 42% between 2007-08 and 2012-13, from $5,560 (in 2017 dollars) to $7,890, and by another 14% to $8,970 by 2017-18.
  • Grant aid per FTE graduate student rose by 10%, from $7,230 (in 2017 dollars) in 2007-08 to $7,970 in 2012-13, and by another 6% to $8,460 in 2017-18.
  • In 2017-18, undergraduates received an average of $14,790 in financial aid per FTE student, an increase from $7,780 (in 2017 dollars) in 1997-98 and from $10,670 in 2007-08.
  • In 2017-18, graduate students received an average of $27,230 in financial aid per FTE student, an increase from $15,550 (in 2017 dollars) in 1997-98 and from $24,020 in 2007-08.