National Student Aid Profile: Overview of 2015 Federal Programs

By Betsy Prueter

The National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators released their National Student Aid Profile last month, which provides basic information on all of the federal student financial aid programs; a useful resource for the millions of federal student aid applicants each year (in 2011-2012, over 31 million).  The profile reviews the Federal Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG), the Federal Work- Study Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Programs and the Direct PLUS Loan Program. The report breaks down number of recipients, total volume of awards, federal funding levels and distribution of family income for all of the aid programs.

Among the highlights from each federal student financial aid program:

Pell Grant

  • 4 million recipients in 2012-2013.
  • Two-thirds of these recipients attended a public two-year or four-year institution.
  • Average award was $3,555.
  • Nearly three-quarters of recipients had family incomes of less than $30,000.
  • Total volume was $35.2 billion.

FSEOG:

  • 6 million recipients in 2012-2013.
  • While more than half of recipients attended a public two-year or four-year institution, over one-quarter attended a for-profit institution.
  • Average award was $599.
  • 70% of dependent recipients came from families with an income of less than $30,000.
  • Total volume was $733 million.

Work-Study

  • 694,000 recipients in 2012-2013.
  • More than 50% of recipients attend a private, non-profit four-year institution.
  • Average award was $1,673.
  • Of dependent undergraduate students, 46% had family incomes below $42,000.
  • Total volume was $975 million.

Perkins:

  • 500,000 recipients in 2012-2013.
  • All but 5% of recipients attend a four-year public or a four year private non-profit institution.
  • Average award was $2,014.
  • 34% of dependent recipients came from families with an income of less than $30,000.
  • 74% of independent recipients had an income of less than $20,000.
  • Total volume was $1 billion.

Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • 9 million borrowers in 2012-2013.
  • Average loan of $3,677.
  • Total volume was $25.4 billion.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • 9 million borrowers in 2013-2014.
  • Average loan of $4,109 for undergraduate students and $17,562 for graduate students.
  • Total volume was $51.9 billion.

PLUS Loans:

  • 704,000 parent borrowers in 2013-2014.
  • Average loan of $14,174.
  • 343,000 graduate/professional students borrowed an average of $21,849 in Grad PLUS loans.
  • Total volume (for Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS) was $17.5 billion.