DataPoints: Distribution of federal student aid


In 2019-20, public two-year college students, who comprise 31% of full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment, received 33% of Pell Grant funds, according to an analysis by the College Board.

Community college students’ share of Pell grants has held in the 33% range for most of the past 34 years. Over that time span, the sector’s highpoint came in 2011-12 and 2012-13, when public two-year college students comprised 37% of Pell Grant distribution in each of those years, according to federal data.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal assistance grant reserved for undergraduates with the greatest need for financial aid to attend college. Public two-year students comprised about one-quarter (24%) of students who received these grants in 2019-20. That distribution has stayed roughly at 24% since 2012-13.

In 2019-20, the percentage of federal work-study funding going to public two-year students was 17%. Since 1998-99, that share has fluctuated between 15% and 18%.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.