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Parent PLUS Student Loan Data by Congressional District

Dataset Content
This dataset presents information on the share of Parent PLUS borrowers whose dependent students also received Pell grants, by congressional district (Pell and PLUS Debt by District) and by institution within each district (Institution Data). These data are based on College Scorecard data.

Roughly 9 percent of all undergraduate students (12 percent of dependent students) who were enrolled during the 2015–16 school year had families use Parent PLUS to help pay for their education. Although the Parent PLUS program was originally intended for students from middle- and high-income families, many who now use the program are also eligible for Pell grants. Among dependent undergraduate students enrolled during 2015–16, 12.6 of students who ever used Pell grants also had family members who used Parent PLUS loans for their education. Among dependents who did not use Pell grants, 11.9 percent had family members who used Parent PLUS loans.

You can find more information about Parent PLUS in our brief and blog post.

Data Structure
Most College Scorecard data are aggregated to an institution's six-digit Office of Postsecondary Education Identification (OPEID) number or to a more detailed unit identification (unit ID) number. In both cases, these data points can obscure information about the location of students during their enrollment, particularly if an institution has more than one campus, or if a large share of students are enrolled virtually. When data, such as the number of Pell students who also received Parent PLUS aid, are presented at the OPEID level, we weight these numbers to the unit ID level. These data are then aggregated up to the congressional district level.

The College Scorecard data we use in this report refer to Parent PLUS data taken out at the institution only. The College Scorecard also uses Office of Federal Student Aid data to approximate how many students receive Parent PLUS at an institution (providing a low and a high range). When assessing data reported at the congressional district level (tab 1), we strongly recommend reviewing institution data (tab 2) for contextual information on the institutions associated with a congressional district that also provide a substantial (i.e., reportable) share of students receiving Parent PLUS loans."

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
United States
Temporal Coverage
2021-01-19 00:00
English (United States)
Kristin Blagg
Contact Name
Urban Institute
Contact Email
Public Access Level
These fields are specific to Urban Institute.
Related Content
Data Dictionary Files
Geographic Level
Units of Observation
Original Data Source
Data Quality or Limitations

Link to congressional district is based on main campus location as reported by the institution. These data present characteristics of those who use Parent PLUS to attend institutions that have their main location within the congressional district, but not all borrowers may reside in the area.

Citation Requirements

Urban Institute. 2021. Parent PLUS Student Loan Data by Congressional District. Accessible from Data originally sourced from Department of Education College Scorecard (January 19, 2021), developed at the Urban Institute, and made available under the ODC-BY 1.0 Attribution License.