How to prepare for the next economic crisis
More than half of U.S. college students and nearly a third of high school students have already received some form of financial aid, according to a new report released Thursday.
The U.N. Higher Education Assessment Survey for the year 2020-2021 showed that nearly a quarter of students have received financial aid for at least part of the academic year, the largest percentage of any nation in the world.
More than 50 percent of students reported receiving at least one form of student aid in the last two years, according the report.
About 60 percent of respondents reported receiving financial aid at least three times a year in the past three years.
U.S.-based nonprofit organizations said that students from the Northeast and West, where many live, had the highest rates of financial support.
They also had the lowest levels of debt among their peers in other regions.
The report said that nearly half of students in the Northeast received a form of aid that included at least $500, while nearly one in four in the West received at least some form.
Nearly half of those surveyed also reported that they were in debt.
The survey found that students in high-cost areas tended to have lower earnings than those in other parts of the country, including the Midwest, South and Northeast.
The Northeast has long been a bastion of student loan debt, but the survey showed that more students there were struggling to repay the loans.
The number of students at public colleges and universities who reported having a balance on their federal student loans in the fourth quarter of 2019 was at its lowest level in five years, the report said.
“In some places, students who default on their loans are able to refinance their loans to help balance their debts,” said the report, which was released Thursday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal-leaning think tank.
Students in states that have the most student loan borrowers are also facing higher levels of student debt than students in other areas.
The report found that 27 percent of residents of states with the highest proportion of student loans were in default in the first quarter of 2020.
In contrast, in the 10 states with lowest proportion of students without loans, the proportion was 15.9 percent.
In the Midwest and West and a handful of other areas, student loan default rates have declined in recent years.
The U.K. is the only country with a higher percentage of students who have a loan default than students.