Here is a link to the data provided today by the Department of Education. Here is a summary of the data as analyzed by Student Lending Analytics:
|TOTAL Dep. Students||3,201,306||3,723,086||16.3%|
|TOTAL Indep. Students||2,248,468||2,862,921||27.3%|
|TOTAL All Students||5,449,774||6,586,007||20.8%|
Note: 1Q08 data reflects period from 1/1/08 to 3/30/08 while 1Q09 data reflects data from 1/1/09 to 3/29/09.
So, what does this data tell us, other than the fact that more students are applying for financial aid?
- The sharp increase in the number of original FAFSAs by independent students, 31.0% vs. 14.0% for dependent students, may reflect more adults returning to school to hone or enhance their job skills.
- Note also that the ratio of FAFSA filings made by dependent to independent students stands at 57%/43% in 1Q09 vs. 59%/41% in 1Q08.
- Several other trends may be at work here:
- More students may be heeding the advice of financial aid professionals to apply early for financial aid
- 2008 and 2009 high school graduating classes are among the largest on record (the "Echo Boomers") so more students are applying to post-secondary education
- Given the economy's ills, more families than normal are applying for financial aid
Below are the states who saw the largest annual increases in FAFSA filings. Interestingly, three of the top four (Arizona, Nevada, Florida) have seen the sharpest declines in home prices too:
|1Q 2008||1Q 2009||Change|