U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Student Financial Assistance Policy - 2004

Goal 8: To help ensure access to high-quality postsecondary education by providing financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study in an efficient, financially sound and customer-responsive manner.
Objective 8.1 of 3: Ensure that low- and middle-income students will have the same access to postsecondary education that high-income students do.
Indicator 8.1.1 of 4: Percentage of unmet need: The percentage of unmet need considering all sources of financial aid, especially for low-income students.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Percentage of Unmet Need for Undergraduates
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1995 23  
1996 23  
1997 22  
1998 21.20  
1999 20.80  
2000 21.20  
2003   19.20
2004   19.20

Percentage of Unmet Need for Low Income Undergraduates.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
  Dependent Independent With Kids Independent Without Kids Dependent Independent With Kids Independent Without Kids
1996 46.30 54.70 52.50      
1997 44.50 51.60 49      
1998 42.90 51.10 49      
1999 41.80 50.20 48.50      
2000 43.10 60.60 46.20      
2003       41.10 58.60 44.20
2004       41.10 58.60 44.20


 
Source: Other
Other: Record/File.
Sponsor: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.


Data Available: January 2005
Validated By: No Formal Verification.

Limitations: NPSAS data are collected only every four years.

 
Indicator 8.1.2 of 4: College enrollment rates: Postsecondary education enrollment rates for all students, and the enrollment gap between low- and high-income high school graduates.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of high school graduates ages 16-24 enrolling immediately in college - Total
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1994 61.90  
1995 61.90  
1996 65  
1997 67  
1998 65.60  
1999 62.90  
2000 63.30  
2001 61.70  
2003   65
2004   67

The Percentage of high school graduates ages 16-24 enrolling immediately in college by income.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
  Low High Difference Low High Difference
1994 44 78.40 34.40      
1995 41.20 83.40 42.20      
1996 41.50 78 36.50      
1997 47.10 82 34.90      
1998 50.60 77.30 26.70      
1999 50.90 76 25.10      
2000 48.50 77.10 28.60      
2001 47.80 79.80 32      
2003       50 80 30
2004       52 81 29


 
Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2002
Data Available: April 2003
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: Small subgroup sample sizes for low-income students lead to large yearly fluctuations in enrollment rates. Three-year weighted averages are used to smooth out these fluctuations.

 
Indicator 8.1.3 of 4: Targeting of Pell Grants: Pell Grant funds will continue to be targeted to those students with the greatest financial need: at least 75 percent of Pell Grant funds will go to students below 150 percent of poverty level.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of Pell Grant funds going to students below 150 percent of the poverty line.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1997 82  
1998 80  
1999 78 75
2000 78 75
2001   75
2002   75
2003   75
2004   75


Explanation: Increases in the maximum award without other changes in the formulas used to award Pell grants will tend to lower the percentage of funds going to the neediest students.  
Source: Other
Other: Record/File.
Sponsor: Pell Grant Applicant/Recipient File.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001 - 2002
Data Available: March 2003
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

 
Indicator 8.1.4 of 4: Federal debt burden: The median Federal debt burden (yearly scheduled payments as a percentage of annual income) of borrowers in their first full year of prepayment will be less than 10 percent.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The median federal debt burden of students in their first full year of repayment.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1998 7.10  
1999 6.48  
2000 6.38  
2003   9.90
2004   9.90


Explanation: As a general rule, it is believed that an educational debt burden of 10 percent or greater will negatively affect a borrower's ability to repay his or her student loan and to obtain other credit such as a home mortgage. We expect the 2001 and 2002 median debt burden rate to remain well below 10 percent.  
Additional Source Information: National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2000 - 2001
Data Available: August 2003
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: To overcome limitations with the data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that were previously used, we switched to IRS data on household income for 1998 and future years. The IRS data may slightly understate debt burden for married borrowers where both individuals have student loans.

 

Objective 8.2 of 3: Ensure that more students will persist in postsecondary education and attain degrees and certificates.
Indicator 8.2.1 of 1: Completion rate: Completion rates for all full-time, degree-seeking students in 4-year and less-than-4-year programs; and the gap in completion rates between minority and non-minority students.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of full-time degree seeking students completing a 4-year degree within 150% of the normal time required.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
  Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic Total
1997 52.50 35.50 55.50 39.10 20 16.40            
1998 52.60 34.50 55.80 39.10 21.30 16.70            
1999 53 35.80 56 40.90 20.20 15.10            
2000 52.40 35.70 55.40 41.50 19.70 13.90            
2003             54          
2004             55          

The percentage of full-time degree seeking students completing a less than 4-year program within 150% of the normal time required.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
  Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference betwen White and Hispanic Total
1997 30.90 22.80 32.60 26.20 9.80 6.40            
1998 32.20 25.10 33.80 29.90 8.70 3.90            
1999 34.40 29.50 35.30 32.50 5.80 2.80            
2000 32.70 26.50 34 30.10 7.50 3.90            
2003             34          
2004             35          


 
Additional Source Information: Graduation Rate Survey (GRS)

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001 - 2002
Data Available: March 2006
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: Postsecondary institutions are not required to report graduation rates until 2002. However, data were voluntarily submitted by institutions representing 87 percent of 4-year students and 77 percent of 2-year students. Investigating whether a proxy for graduation rates for student aid recipients can be obtained from administrative records.

 

Objective 8.3 of 3: Ensure that taxpayers will have a positive return on investment in the federal student financial assistance programs.
Indicator 8.3.1 of 1: Return on investment: The benefits of the student aid programs, in terms of increased tax revenues, will continue to exceed their costs.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Return on Investment
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
  Low Best High Low Best High
1996 1.30 2.90 6.70      
1997 1.30 2.80 6.50      
1998 1.30 2.90 6.70      
1999 1.40 3.10 7.10      
2000 1.50 3.30 7.70      
2001 1.60 3.40 8      
2003       1.60 3.40 8
2004       1.60 3.40 8


Explanation: The column titles are defined as follows. Low: A pessimistic set of assumptions leading to a low-end estimate of the return on investment. Best: The set of assumptions that we believe best captures the return on investment. High: An optimistic set of assumptions leading to a high-end estimate of the return on investment. The estimated return on investment is calculated in the following manner: 1) The discounted present value of tax revenue and welfare benefits is calculated for different educational attainment levels. 2) Under the ?best? scenario, 90 percent of the revenue differential calculated in step 1 is assumed to be caused by obtaining more education.  
Source: Non-NCES Survey/Research

Additional Source Information: March Current Population Survey (CPS) and Beginning Post Secondary (BPS) study with imputations from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and High School and Beyond (HS&B). Behavioral assumptions were derived, where feasible, from meta-analyses conducted by Leslie and Brinkman in their 1988 book, The Economic Value of Higher Education.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2002 - 2003
Data Available: March 2003
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: A number of assumptions and imputations are required to estimate the return on investment. By providing high and low estimates, one can assess the sensitivity of the results to the assumptions used. Prior year data has been updated from previous reports to reflect more complete information.

 

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