Trellis Company Publishes Annual Reference Report, Including Mobile-friendly Option

Round Rock, TX – Texas now has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the U.S., according to Trellis Company’s 2019 State of Student Aid and Higher Education in Texas (SOSA) report, published today. The annual reference report also found that Texas still has one of the highest percentage of adults who have not finished high school and that bachelor’s degree holders earn about $1 million more in lifetime earnings compared to those whose highest education is a high school diploma.

New this year, the SOSA, which provides information helpful for informing policy and programs, can be easily searched from a mobile device allowing policymakers and other users to quickly scan for higher education statistics, demographics, and other important student finance topics. The mobile version was designed to put the SOSA’s vast information at the fingertips of legislators, policymakers, and policy influencers wherever discussions on student aid in Texas may be happening.

“Policymakers need facts,” says Jeff Webster, Director of Research at Trellis Company. “As the Texas Legislature begins discussions about how to maximize the value of their investment in higher education, the SOSA provides the factual foundation that leads to sound public policy.”

In addition, this year’s report includes a new section that puts student loan debt in context with other types of consumer debt. For example, student loan debt in Texas ranks third behind mortgage debt and auto debt, versus second nationally (behind mortgage debt).

This easy-to-use reference report provides data on a wide variety of important student finance topics related to higher education, including demographic projections, college costs, student loan repayment outcomes, and higher education policy. Notable points from the 2019 SOSA include:

  • In both the public four-year and public two-year sectors in Texas, the average Pell grant amount covered just 19 percent of the total cost of full-time attendance for two semesters.
  • Low-income students in Texas had an average unmet need of more than $9,000. Students with unmet need were less likely to graduate compared to those with no need.
  • More than 80 percent of direct student aid in Texas came from the federal government.
  • Texas community college students would need to work 53 hours per week on a minimum wage salary to pay for two full-time semesters.
  • Nearly half of borrowers who did not graduate had defaulted on their student loans within 12 years of starting college.
  • Outstanding student loan debt in Texas is estimated at $101.5 billion, making up about 7.4 percent of the total national outstanding student loan debt of $1.38 trillion.

“We know that Texans care about access to quality postsecondary education,” says Carla Fletcher, Senior Research Analyst at Trellis Company and lead author of the report. “We also know that there are different views for how to educate Texans most equitably and effectively. One of the goals of the SOSA is to provide a resource that supports healthy discussions based on a common understanding of the relevant facts. I hope we’ve been able to do just that.”

To access or download the report, please visit: www.trelliscompany.org/state-of-student-aid-2019.

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About Trellis Company
Trellis Company is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with the dual mission of helping student borrowers successfully repay their education loans and promoting access and success in higher education. Trellis has a nearly 40-year successful track record of delivering positive outcomes for students and institutions. Trellis’ strong philanthropic heritage of giving through grants to colleges, universities, and research groups remains focused on improving student outcomes, especially to assist underserved students and families, and to help institutions navigate the changing landscape of higher education.

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