A great man named Jay-Z once said, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” This mantra seems to hold true in nearly all areas of life, especially when it comes to the hot-button issue of student loans. As student loan debt and financial aid has recently become a polarizing—and often politicized—issue, the most straightforward information often comes from the data itself. Here’s a short list of statistics about student loans and the various sources of financial aid for students.
- During the 2013-14 school year, 43.5% of students enrolled in college received aid from a federal source. In other words, almost half of all students in college got some form of financial aid from the government.
- Over 1,000,000 students received some form of federal aid, making it the most popular source of student loans. Which makes sense; federal student loans are more lenient, forgiving, and have more repayment options compared to private student loans.
- 9% of all students received some form of aid, the majority of which received it from federal sources.
- The average student received $4,531 in federal grants.
- 9% of students enrolled at public colleges received federal aid, as did 38% of students enrolled at private institutions of higher learning. In fact, private colleges are sometimes more affordable than public colleges because of the amount of aid they give to students.
- In the 2013-14 year, 41% of enrolled students received at least some form of aid from a private source. In other words, almost half of students took out private student loans to cover part of their college costs.
- 4% of students opted for private student loans from private companies such as Sallie Mae, with the remainder receiving funds from different charities, organizations, or directly from their school.
- Students who attended private colleges and received private loans have an average loan debt of over $30,000.
- 56% of NCAA Division I athletes receive some form of private financial aid.
- Less than 20,000 students nationwide are currently on the receiving end of full-ride scholarships. Full-ride scholarships are few and competitive, so it makes sense that such a small amount of students received them.
- According to the NCAA, less than 2% of high school athletes receive a full-ride scholarship to play in college.
- One of the most popular full-ride scholarships, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, doles out 1,000 full-ride scholarships every year from a pool of many thousands of applicants.
We’d also like to remind you to file the FAFSA so that you open yourself up to federal student loans and institutional aid. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you qualify; do it anyway! It doesn’t hurt to file the FAFSA and you never know what kind of offers you’ll receive. Apply for scholarships, big or small, or even full-ride scholarships. Just don’t apply to one scholarship and hope for the best, especially if it’s very competitive. Scholarships are a great way to fund your college education, since it’s essentially free money.
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!