Student Borrowing Recently Slowed –

The amount of aid a student receives directly affects the cost of his or her higher education and is especially important considering tuition costs are still on the rise, though not as much as in previous years.

A recent report by the College Board titled Trends in Student Aid 2012 shows that while student borrowing has grown at a rapid rate within the last decade, the rate has slowed in recent years.

The report found that the total amount of education borrowing—which includes federal student and parent loans as well as non-federal loans—declined by 4% between 2010-11 and 2011-12. This marked the first decline in at least 20 years.

In examining the different types of aid, the report also found that in 2011-12, $236.7 billion in financial aid was distributed to undergraduate and graduate students in the form of grants from all sources, federal work study (FWS), federal loans, and federal tax credits and deductions. Additionally, students borrowed about $8.1 billion from private, state, and institutional sources to help pay for college.

In 2011-12, undergraduates received an average of $13,218 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in financial aid, which includes $6,932 in grant aid from all sources and $5,056 in federal loans. Graduate students received an average of $25,152 per FTE in aid, which includes $7,417 in grant aid and $16,796 in federal loans.

Aid from federal grants almost tripled within the last decade. Forty-four percent of all grant aid—49% of undergraduate grant aid—came from the federal government in 2011-12. Comparatively, 10 years prior 32% of all grant aid—37% of undergraduate grant aid—came from the federal government.

Additionally, 37% of all grant aid came from higher education institutions, 9% came from state governments, and 10% came from employers and other private sources in 2011-12.

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