Mapping Your Future: New reports provides insight into federal financial aid programs


New reports provides insight into federal financial aid programs

By Catherine Mueller

April 25, 2019

The amount of outstanding federal student loan debt is now at $1.45 trillion and is increasing at a rate of about 5.2 percent, according to reports released last week by the Department of Education.

In an April 19 Electronic Announcement, the Department provided a snapshot of some of the key findings in the data reports and said that the growth of the loan portfolio has slowed as new disbursements have declined.

In addition to the amount of outstanding debt, the Department said that, as of December 31, 2018, 17.5 million FAFSA forms were submitted for the 2018-19 application year, which was a decrease from the previous year. The trend of a decrease in FAFSA applications is continuing with the 2019-20 application cycle with a 3.4 percent decrease compared to the same period in the prior year.

The reports also indicate that while the number of defaults on Direct Loans are decreasing, the cumulative defaulted loan portfolio continues to grow; in particular because there are no provisions to write off defaulted federal student loans.

For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid Data Center.