The idea that only rich people get to go to college used to be a common thought and sadly, it was not unfounded in the beginning. However, as far back as 1643, when Lady Anne Radcliffe Mowlson donated 100 pounds sterling to Harvard,  there have been efforts made in order to help bright, motivated students without the funds to be able to attend college.

While other efforts were made early on, it wasn’t until around 1938 when the College Board begins administering the SAT in order to present students with merit-based scholarships, that the financial aid efforts began to increase in frequency and amounts. By 1972 the Pell Grant was introduced (Basic Educational Opportunity Grants) and by 1980 2.7 million students had been awarded a Pell Grant. There have been many other financial aid efforts for students over the years. Today the total financial aid for students totals $239 billion.

Check out the following infographic for more interesting facts…