Total Annual Amount Borrowed in Federal Loans over Time

After a decade of rapid growth in annual borrowing, total federal loans to undergraduate students declined by 23% between 2012-13 and 2017-18 after adjusting for inflation, and federal loans to graduate students rose by 2%.

Figure 9A: Total Annual Amount Borrowed in Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans in Millions of 2017 Dollars, 2002-03 to 2017-18, Selected Years

Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Graduate students became eligible to borrow PLUS Loans in 2006-07.

SOURCE: Table 6.

  • The share of federal education loans going to graduate students (who constitute about 14% of all postsecondary students) rose from 32% ($18.1 billion out of $56.3 billion in 2017 dollars) in 2002-03 to 40% ($37.6 billion out of $93.1 billion) in 2017-18.