The new annual report by the College Board, Trends in Student Aid 2005, came out today.
A factoid from the press release:
Between 1996-97 and 2001-02, total grant aid for undergraduates grew twice as fast as total borrowing, but since 2001-02, that pattern has reversed. In 2004-05, the percentage of total undergraduate aid in the form of grants declined for the third year in a row.
Here's some comments by Bob Shireman of the Project on Student Debt.
The College Board report shows that the trends in how Americans pay for college continue to tilt heavily toward loans. The largest increase is in private loans, which rose by about 30 percent in just one year, a strong indicator that more families are finding that they have little choice but to borrow in order to cover the rising cost of college.
The College Board report documents the continued rise of loans and the relative decline of need-based grants, meaning that the people who struggle hardest to get a college education have fewer and fewer options.