Sources of Grant Aid: Public Institutions

In 2015-16, full-time students received an average of $7,300 in grant aid at public four-year institutions and $4,680 at public two-year institutions.

Figure 18: Sources of Grant Aid, Full-Time Students at Public Institutions, 2015-16

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Includes full-time undergraduate students who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.

SOURCES: NCES, NPSAS, 2016; calculations by the authors.
 

  • At both public four-year and public two-year institutions, full-time independent students received more grant aid, on average, than dependent students. Independent students received less funding from state, institutional, and private and employer grants, but more from federal grants and, particularly, veterans and military grants.
  • At public four-year colleges and universities, dependent students from families with incomes less than $35,000 received almost half of their grant aid from the federal government. Those from families with incomes of $70,000 or more received very little federal aid; more than half of the grant aid these students received came from their institutions.
  • At public two-year colleges, dependent students from families with incomes less than $35,000 received three-quarters of their grant aid from the federal government. Institutional grant aid in this sector was skewed toward more affluent students, with average grants ranging from $230 per independent student and $380 per dependent student from families with incomes less than $35,000 to $970 for those from families with incomes of $120,000 or higher.