Undergraduate Enrollment and Percentage Receiving Pell Grants over Time

Between 2006-07 and 2011-12, the total number of undergraduate students increased by 3.5 million; the number of Pell Grant recipients increased by 4.3 million. Over the next five years, both the number of undergraduate students and the number of Pell Grant recipients declined by 2.3 million.

Figure 15A: Undergraduate Enrollment and Percentage of Undergraduate Students Receiving Pell Grants, 2006-07 to 2016-17

Figure 15A represents Undergraduate Enrollment and Percentage of Undergraduate Students Receiving Pell Grants, 2006-07 to 2016-17. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet.

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: IPEDS headcount enrollments are adjusted for the difference between total headcount, which counts students more than once if they are enrolled in more than one institution at the same time, and unduplicated headcount reported by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). Twelve-month undergraduate headcount for 2016-17 is estimated from the NSC data.

SOURCES: NCES, Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2016-17; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2015-16, and 12-Month Enrollment, 2015-16: First Look (Preliminary Data) and earlier editions; National Student Clearinghouse, Current Term Enrollment Estimates: Spring 20167 U.S. Department of Education, Federal Pell Grant Program End-of-Year Report 2015-16; Federal Student Aid Data Center, Title IV Program Volume Reports and Aid Recipients Summary; calculations by the authors.

  • The share of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants rose from 24% in 2006-07 to 38% in 2011-12. In 2016-17, 32% of undergraduates received a Pell Grant.