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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

National Cohort Default Rate Hits 5-Year Low

October 3, 2016

Data released by the Department of Education show the percentage of students defaulting on their federal student loans within three years of entering repayment has decreased to 11.3 percent.

This release highlights FY13 cohort default rate (CDR) data. While there is fluctuation in the data when looking at different higher education sectors, the overall rate is at a five-year low.

ED imposes sanctions on schools that have had three consecutive years of three-year CDRs of 30 percent or higher. These schools are at risk of losing their eligibility to participate in certain Title IV programs.

Looking at the data by institution type, public institutions had an average of 11.3 percent of students default in the FY13 three-year cohort, down slightly from 11.7 in the FY12 cohort. During the same timeframe, independent institutions saw their CDR creep up slightly from 6.8 percent for the FY12 cohort to 7.0 percent for the FY13 cohort. The for-profit sector saw its CDR decrease from 15.8 percent to 15.0 percent for the FY13 cohort.

In addition to ED's CDR webpage, the agency also has provided a summary document.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst