Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Strategic Plan 2005-2010

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Report Brief

Student Financing of Undergraduate Education: 1999-2000


This report was issued by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics in July 2002. It describes the financing of undergraduate education by students enrolled in U.S. postsecondary institutions during the 1999-2000 academic year. The report is based on data from the 1999-2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.


All findings reflect the 1999-2000 academic year.

General Findings

  • 16.5 million undergraduates were enrolled in postsecondary institutions for all or part of the year as full- or part-time students. 55% received financial aid from federal, state, institutional, or other sources (average amount received was $6,200).
  • 44% of all undergraduates received grants (averaging $3,500) and 29% received loans (averaging $5,100). 5% had work-study jobs (earning an average of $1,700). 7% received other types of aid, such as veteran's benefits, job training and vocational rehabilitation funds, and federal PLUS loans for parents.
  • Undergraduates received several different types of aid packages:
    • 7% received only student loans
    • 22% took out loans and were also awarded grants or other aid
    • 27% had grants, work-study, or other aid, but no loans
    • Packages consisting of loans and other aid averaged $10,600 in total aid compared with $5,200 for those with loans only and $2,900 for those without loans
  • 39% of all undergraduates were enrolled full-time for the full academic year, 73% of whom relied on financial aid (receiving an average of $8,500).

Tuition and the Total Price of Attendance

  • Tuition and fees for full-time full-year students averaged $1,600 at public two-year institutions, $4,300 at public four-years, $8,900 at private for-profits, and $15,000 at private not-for-profits.
  • The average total price of attendance averaged $9,100 at public two-year institutions, $12,600 at public four-years, $18,400 at private for-profits, and $23,600 at private not-for-profit four-years.

Financial Aid, Price of Attendance, and Income

  • The percentage of undergraduates receiving financial aid increased as the price of attendance rose, while the percentage receiving aid decreased as family income rose.
  • Low-income students with limited resources usually qualify for need-based aid at any price of attendance and high-income students qualify for need-based aid only at high priced institutions.
  • 3/4 of all low-income dependent undergraduates (family income of less than $30,000) received financial aid compared to 1/2 of high-income dependent undergraduates (family income of more than $80,000).

Financial Aid by Type of Institution Attended

  • At public two-year institutions 38% of undergraduates received financial aid (averaging $2,300). 33% of those students received grants (averaging $1,600) and 7% took out student loans (averaging $3,300).
  • At public four-year institutions 62% of undergraduates received financial aid (averaging $6,200). 46% of those students were awarded grants (averaging $3,200) and 40% took out student loans (averaging $4,800).
  • At four-year private not-for-profit institutions 76% of all undergraduates received financial aid (averaging $11,600). 66% had grants (averaging $7,000) and 50% took out loans (averaging $6,200).
  • At private for-profit institutions 85% of all undergraduates received financial aid -- 60% had grants and 67% had loans.

The Sources of Financial Aid

  • Loans: 28% of undergraduates took out federal loans, 1% borrowed from state sources, 1% borrowed from institutional sources, and 3% borrowed from private commercial or non-profit sources.
  • Grants: 23% of undergraduates received grants from the federal government, 17% from institutional sources, 14% from state sources, and 7% from private sources.
  • Federal grants were awarded to 17% of those at public two-year institutions, 25% at public and private not-for-profit four-year institutions, and 53% at private for-profit institutions.
  • 46% at private not-for-profit four-year institutions received institutional grants.

Student Loans

  • 97% of undergraduates who borrowed took out federal student loans (averaging $4,600) and 13% took out nonfederal loans
  • 48% of Stafford borrowers took out need-based subsidized loans only, 17% took out unsubsidized loans only, and 36% took out both.
  • Independent undergraduates were more likely than dependent undergraduates to take out a combination of unsubsidized and subsidized loans and the average Stafford loan was higher for independent students.

Students Borrowing at Different Types of Institutions

  • Among all undergraduates, 42% had borrowed through the federal student loan programs at some time, either in 1999-2000 or in prior years (average cumulative amount of $9,900). This included 23% at public two-year institutions, 52% at public four-years, and 61% at private not-for-profit four-years.


U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Student financing of undergraduate education: 1999-2000, NCES 2002-167 by Lutz Berkner, Ali Berker, Kathryn Rooney, & Katharin Peter. Project Officer: Andrew G. Malizio. Washington, DC: 2002.

Submitted by Leah Ewing Ross, April 2004. This is a report summary and excerpts are quoted directly from the text.

The campanile

Iowa State was the first chartered land-grant institution.