Minnesota students are borrowing more to pay for college -- despite growth in grants and scholarships, a new report shows.
Undergraduate borrowing increased 10 percent from 2009 to 2011, according to the study, released this week by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
Meanwhile, the total dollar amount of grants and scholarships, which students don't have to pay back, increased by 40 percent. Work study earnings grew as well, by 23 percent.
Some -- but not all -- of the growth in these categories can be attributed to an increase in enrollment. We're talking total dollar figures here.
In a news release, the state Office of Higher Education hypothesized that "a slowdown in income growth for families due to the economy" is one big reason for more borrowing. But, the office noted, this study didn't look at family income.
Every two years, the office takes a broad look at how the state's students pay for college. Most numbers are in the millions, and even billions. Undergraduates and their parents borrowed $1.69 billion in 2011, up from $1.54 billion in 2009.
From 2001 to 2011, borrowing grew faster than tuition, income or inflation, the report shows.
Read the full report below. Page 9 includes an interesting breakdown of what percentage of students at different types of colleges and universities got grants from their school. For example, 90 percent of students at the state's nonprofit, private colleges received such grants in 2011, and the average amount was $13,800.
At the University of Minnesota's campuses, 57 percent of students got institutional grants, and the average amount was $3,200. Compare that to the four-year state universities, where 26 percent of students nabbed such grants, and the average amount was $2,200.
Prices vary, sometimes widely, between such schools, of course.