New Data Sheds Light on Student Aid, College Affordability

New Data Sheds Light on Student Aid, College Affordability

WASHINGTON
The percentage of full-time undergraduate students at private colleges and universities who receive some form of financial aid, and the average amount of their awards, reached new highs in the 1999-2000 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s 1999-2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.
Eighty-four percent of full-time undergraduates at private institutions received financial aid during the 1999-2000 academic year, with an average total financial aid award of $13,700. The average award grew by 27 percent from 1995-1996.
In addition, increases in institutional grant aid provided to students at private institutions continue to outpace increases in other forms of aid.
• The average institutional grant award was $7,300 in 1999-2000, compared to $5,600 in 1995-1996 — an increase of 30 percent. Fifty-nine percent of full-time undergraduates at private colleges received institutional grant aid in 1999-2000, compared to 56 percent four years earlier.
• The average federal grant award was $2,700 in 1999-2000, compared to $2,300 in 1995-1996 — an increase of 17 percent. Twenty-eight percent of full-time undergraduates at private colleges received federal grant aid in 1999-2000 and 1995-1996.
• The average state grant award was $2,600 in 1999-2000, compared to $2,200 in 1995-1996 — an increase of 18 percent. Twenty-six percent of full-time undergraduates at private colleges received state grant aid in 1999-2000, compared to 28 percent four years earlier.
• The average subsidized Stafford loan was $3,800 in 1999-2000, compared to $3,600 in 1995-1996 — an increase of 6 percent. Forty-nine percent of full-time undergraduates at private colleges received a federally subsidized Stafford loan, compared to 50 percent four years earlier.
The new data does not seem to have influenced enrollment numbers of low-income and minority students (see accompanying chart). “With the vast amount of financial aid available to students attending private colleges and universities, our institutions have remained affordable for a wide array of students,” says David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Private and public institutions continue to enroll virtually the same percentage of low-income and minority students.” 



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