With college tuitions continuing to rise and American families in shaky economic condition, students need more help than ever paying for college. But that's not what entering frosh are encountering, according to "The American Freshman: National Norms 2011," a national survey run out of UCLA. In fact, as the graph above shows, the percentage of students receiving financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships they won't need to repay dropped by nearly four points from 2010 to 2011. Not only did the percentage receiving this aid drop, but the percentage receiving $10,000 or more in grants or scholarships also dropped.
Fewer students were able to contribute their own savings or income to pay for college, as well—not surprising when you remember that last summer saw record high levels of unemployment among young people.
While the percentage of students receiving loans dropped slightly from 2010 to 2011, it has increased by nearly 8 points over the past decade, and the percentage who expected to borrow $10,000 or more to finance their first year of college had more than doubled in that time. Not a surprise, given the historic levels of total student indebtedness the U.S. hit in 2011.