EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — August 4, 2016

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Students Who Do Not Apply for Federal Financial Aid and Why


The graphics provided in this edition of EPIGraph help illustrate the challenges we have regarding financial aid in the United States.

The first chart shows us the percentage of undergraduate students who do NOT apply for federal financial aid. As illustrated, 30 percent of all undergraduates do not apply for financial aid, and a larger percentage (40 percent) at two-year institutions, followed by 38 percent at four-year public institutions. One out of four students at private, non-profit institutions fail to file for federal aid.

The second graphic provides us with information on why these students do not apply for financial aid. Forty-three percent of all undergraduates who did not file for federal aid said they did not need aid. Of these rest, 44 percent thought they were ineligible and 33 percent did not want debt. Thirteen percent said they did not have information on applying for aid.

Eachg of these issues can be improved with better financial aid information at the middle and high school levels, as well as better information from colleges and university advisors.

This EPIGraph information comes from a DATA POINT from the US Department of Education.

Percentage of 2011-12 undergraduates who did not apply for federal financial aid


Reasons that 2011-12 undergraduates did not apply for federal aid

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2011–12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12). (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2016406)