Student loan default rate falls

October 13, 2015

The number of Harper College students defaulting on their federal student loans has dropped significantly, according to new U.S. Department of Education data.

Harper’s federal three-year default rate fell to 14.9 percent in fiscal year 2012, down from 20.2 percent the previous year. The new default rates were calculated using the cohort of borrowers who began repaying federal student loans between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

At public two-year colleges nationwide, the default rate was 19.1 percent in fiscal year 2012, down from 20.6 percent the previous year. The American Association of Community Colleges said the improving economy likely helped reduce defaults, as well as increased public attention to student debt and the availability of additional repayment options.

Harper officials are committed to improving the future financial health of the College’s students as the student financial assistance department emphasizes debt management practices, financial literacy, loan management tools and increased communication.

Last year, 8,700-plus students were awarded more than $24 million in scholarships, grants and tuition waivers through Harper.

Media contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159