California is again ranked No. 1 for how much financial aid money the state provides its college students.
The new numbers released Monday by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs show California disbursed $1.49 billion to help college-age kids afford higher education in 2011-12. That marks a 17.5% increase over the 2010-11 school year and the second year in a row California has held the top spot.
Between 2006 and 2012, total state dollars for scholarships have jumped 97.2%. That’s a modest increase compared to some smaller states like North Dakota and Alaska — which each saw a more than 600% boost since 2006. But the increase exceeds the percent jump of the other largest grant-giving states, which include New York, Texas, Georgia and Florida.
The survey shows states awarded $11.1 billion total in financial awards in 2011-12, a 1.8% increase from the previous year. About 22% of those dollars went to California students.