"Seventy-one percent of undergraduates received some form of aid in the 2011-12 academic year, up from 66 percent in 2007-8, according to the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Their average aid amount also went up, to $10,800 from $9,000 four years earlier..."The article also has some very detailed statistical tables.
"Take the Pell Grant program, the main federal support for needy students. Forty-one percent of undergraduate students received a Pell Grant in 2011-12, up from 28 percent in 2007-8. Some of that increase was probably the result of lower-income adults going back to college in a weak economy and families finding themselves in worse financial positions as they faced the tuition bills for their children.
At the same time, policy changes expanding eligibility for the program also drove some of the increase."
"As for borrowing, the share of undergraduates with federal Stafford loans grew from 35 percent in 2007-8 to 40 percent in 2011-12, while the average amount they borrowed also went up, from $5,000 to $6,400."
See an earlier post called Are College Costs Actually Falling? The basic idea is that although the stated price (tuition) has been rising, so has financial aid.
Another post explained how financial aid is just price discrimination. Schools are just charging different prices to different students. See As college costs rise, sticker shock eased by student aid