Average Institutional Grant Aid per Full-Time Undergraduate Student: Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions

In 2015-16, private nonprofit four-year institutions with tuition and fees of $45,000 or higher awarded, on average, about two and a half times as much grant aid to dependent students from families with incomes below $35,000 as to those from families with incomes of $120,000 or higher ($33,260 vs. $12,840).

Figure 25A: Average Need-Based and Non-Need-Based Institutional Grant Aid, Full-Time Undergraduates at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions, 2015-16

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Includes full-time undergraduates who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Averages are across all full-time students enrolled for the full year at one institution, including those who did not receive institutional grant aid. Non-need-based aid is based entirely on merit or other circumstances not related to need and includes athletic and merit scholarships, tuition waivers of all kinds, and other categories of institutional awards. Each tuition and fee category in Figure 25A includes about one-quarter of full-time undergraduates in the sector.
 
SOURCES: NCES, NPSAS 2016; calculations by the authors.

  • Lower-price private nonprofit four-year institutions tend to award larger shares of their grant aid without regard to the financial circumstances of recipients. In 2015-16, the lowest-price institutions (those with tuition and fees of less than $25,000) awarded more institutional grant aid, on average, to students from families with incomes of $70,000 or higher than to those from families with lower incomes.
  • On average, dependent students from families with incomes below $35,000 received more than five times as much institutional grant aid at high-tuition private colleges in 2015-16 as similar students at low-tuition private colleges ($33,260 vs. $6,160). Students from families with incomes of $120,000 or higher received, on average, about 50% more grant aid at high-tuition colleges than similar students at low-tuition colleges ($12,840 vs. $8,660).