EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — January 9, 2015

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Title IV, Pell Grants, and Stafford Loans (2011-12)


For the new year, we went all out this week and are giving you three EPIGraphs for the price of one (Billy Preston would be impressed..."nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'..."). This week we take a look at the percentages of full-time, full-year (FT/FY) undergraduates students who received (a) Title IV Aid*; (b) a Pell Grant; and (c) a Stafford Loan during the 2011-12 academic year. These are not mutually exclusive categories, of course, as many students who receive a Pell Grant also receive a Stafford Loan and could also be receiving other Title IV aid (e.g., SEOG, Perkins).

Of all FT/FY students in 2011-12, 71 percent received Title IV federal aid. The highest percentage of students receiving Title IV Aid attended private, for profit institutions (90 percent), followed by private, nonprofit institutions (75 percent) and public institutions (67 percent). The proprietary, less-than-two-year institutions had the highest percentage of Title IV students with 95 percent. Conversely, two-year public institutions had the lowest percentage of Title IV students (61 percent).

Almost half (47 percent) of all undergraduates in the US received a Pell Grant. Seventy-four percent of students attending forprofit institutions received a Pell Grant, as did 37 percent of private, nonprofit students and 67 percent of public students. The highest percentage of Pell Grant-aided students attended less-than-two-year institutions (85 percent) and the lowest at private, nonprofit four-year doctoral schools (35 percent).

Approximately 55 percent of all undergraduates receive a Stafford Loan. Eighty-three percent of students at forprofit institutions received a Stafford Loan, followed by 66 percent of students at private, nonprofit institutions and 55 percent of those attending public instiuttions. The highest percentage of students receiving Stafford Loans attended two-year and above proprietary schools, and the lowest attended two-year publics (27 percent).

*Title IV Aid is defined as any aid that emanates from the US Department of Education via the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. Other federal aid is available to students through other Departments, such as the Commerce Department and the Department of Labor, for instance. But the majority of aid (approximately 90 percent) is provided through the HEA.

SOURCE: Table 331.90, Digest of Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_331.90.asp.