Gender Differences in Financial Aid Awards

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that in the 2019-20 academic year, immediately before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 71.5 percent of all undergraduate college students received some type of financial aid. Nearly 64 percent received grants and 36 percent took out loans.

For women students, 74.5 percent received some sort of financial aid compared to 67.6 percent of male students. More than 67 percent of women received grants compared to 59.2 percent of men. Nearly 39 percent of women students took out loans compared to 32 percent of men.

While men and women were about equally likely to receive grants from the educational institution that they attended. Women were more likely than men to receive grants from the federal government by a margin of 45.1 percent for women and 34.7 percent for men. Women also were more likely than men to receive grants from the state government. But the difference was far smaller than at the federal level.

Despite the fact that women were more likely than men to receive grants, on average women received lower amounts. The average grant given to women was $8,900 compared to $9,700 for men. The average loan amounts were nearly equal for men and women students.

At the graduate level, men were slightly more likely than women to receive grants but the average grant to men was $3,100 more than the average grant to women. Nearly 15 percent of male graduate students were graduate assistants compared to 9.9 percent of women graduate students. More than 47 percent of women graduate students took out loans compared to 35 percent of men.


Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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