Composition of Total Aid and Nonfederal Loans over Time

In 2015-16 and 2016-17, loans from federal and nonfederal sources combined constituted 36% of the funds used by undergraduates to supplement student and family resources—the lowest proportion in at least two decades.

Figure 5: Composition of Total Aid and Nonfederal Loans, 1996-97 to 2016-17

Figure 5 represents Composition of Total Aid and Nonfederal Loans, 1996-97 to 2016-17. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet.

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Nonfederal loans are included as an indication of the total amounts of education loans students and parents borrow. “Other Aid” includes Federal Work-Study (FWS) and federal education tax credits and deductions.

SOURCE: Table 4.

  • In 2015-16 and 2016-17, grants constituted 55% of the funds used by undergraduates to supplement student and family resources, the highest proportion in at least the past two decades.
  • In 2016-17, loans constituted 64% of the funds used by graduate students to supplement personal resources. This percentage was 70% in 1996-97 and 68% in 2006-07.
  • In 2016-17, the combination of federal tax credits and deductions and Federal Work-Study (FWS) constituted 9% of all student aid and nonfederal loans for undergraduate students and 3% for graduate students.