Pell grants, awarded solely on need, are the largest single source of non-loan assistance to postsecondary education. Two thirds of Pell recipients enroll in public colleges and universities.
Fraction of tuition, fee, room and board expenses in public four-year colleges covered by Pell Grants in 1975: 79 percent.
In 2017: 29 percent.
Fraction of public college revenues supplied by state governments in 1975: 75 percent.
In 2012: 23 percent.
Change in inflation-adjusted state funding per public college student between 1990 and 2009: -26 percent.
Change in inflation adjusted tuition between 1990 and 2009: +116 percent
Fraction of students from the wealthiest 25 percent of households graduating within 10 years of finishing high school: 60 percent.
Of students from the 25 percent poorest households: 15 percent.
Source: The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap, The Atlantic, 2016.
A student from a family in the top 25 percent of income with standardized test scores in the lowest 25 percent was as likely to be enrolled in college as a student from a family in the lowest 25 percent of income earners with scores in the top 25 percent.
Sources: Lawrence E. Gladieux “Low-Income Student and the Affordability of Higher Education”, 2004.