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News from EPI Newsflash: Government Aid Declines for College Students


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NewsFlash: November 15, 2006

Government aid declines for college students

Democratic Congressional leaders are pledging new legislation to make college more affordable, just as many students are struggling more than ever to pay for their schooling. Federal grants and subsidized loans are covering less of the tuition bill, with Pell Grants, for example, now covering only about a third of the average costs at a four-year public school, compared to 57 percent in 1985-86.

 In this week’s Snapshot, EPI economist Joydeep Roy reviews College Board data to examine how Pell Grants, one of the largest sources of federal help for low-income college students, have not kept up with college prices at four-year public and private colleges over the last 20 years. Roy also looks at the increasing percentage of student loans borrowed through banks and other private institutions, which often carry higher interest rates than subsidized Stafford loans and can be difficult to acquire for poor and minority students.

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