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facts about financial aid

Facts About Financial Aid

Did you know that just over one in four (26%) young adults not currently in college, but who considered college, would have been more likely to attend college if they had had better information about how to pay for college?

That's why it's important to learn about financial aid. Financial aid is money to pay for college from sources other than your savings or your family's contribution. It can come in many forms and is available to students who demonstrate financial need or to those who just want to pay for college on their own.

Apply for financial aid today. A few hours could mean thousands of dollars.
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Read the list of financial aid statistics to see why college financial aid is so important

From the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999

  • When students enter high school, 91 out of every 100 say they plan to go to college.
  • More than 7,900 students in grades 6 through 12 and their parents showed that few of them knew anything about college costs. Two-thirds of the students, as well as nearly half their parents, said they couldn't estimate what tuition and fees are for the kind of college the student hoped to attend.

From the Harris Poll commissioned by Sallie Mae Fund, 2002

  • >Nearly half of all parents (48%) wished they had more information about how to pay for college.

  • 60% of parents with incomes under $50,000 said they need more information about how to pay for college compared to only 37% of parents with incomes of $75,000 or more.
  • 50% of Hispanic-American parents said they had "no idea" how they were going to pay for college, compared to 23% of white parents and 26% of African-American parents.

From the Education Commission of the States, 2003

  • While the average cost of college tuition rose 110% between 1981 and 2001, median family income only rose 27% in the same period.

From an American Association of University Women Survey

  • 70% of respondents worry more about the cost of college education for their children than the cost of a house, a car or secure retirement.

From CollegeBoard.com 2007 Press Release

  • In 2007-08, average total charges (which include both room and board and tuition and fees), were $13,589, a 5.9 percent increase over last year.
  • In 2006-07, about three-quarters of full-time undergraduates received some form of financial aid.
  • In 2006-07, undergraduate students received $97.1 billion in financial aid.
  • The two largest sources of aid to undergraduates are federal student loans, which make up 40 percent of the total, and grants from colleges and universities, which comprise 21 percent of the total.
  • Private student loans made up 24 percent of total education loans in 2006-07, up from 6 percent a decade ago.
  • In 2003-04, 48 percent of low-income students borrowed an average of $5,640 (in 2006 dollars) to help finance college expenses.

With so many people in need of financial aid and so little of them knowing about it, it is important to learn as much as you can. For most students, it can be the difference between going to college and not going to college. And for many parents, it can be the lifesaver that helps give their children a proper education.

If you discover you don't have enough money to pay for school on your own, there are always tuition payment plans.

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