UT Grads' Student Loan Default Rate Higher Than National Average

No matter how it's tabulated, more former Tennessee college students are defaulting on Federal Family Education and William D. Ford Federal Direct loans. Last week, in response to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education released initial trial numbers that tallied three-year cohort default rates (CDRs) for 2007—that is, students per institution who default on federal student loans within three years of entering repayment status. The rate for Tennessee was 14.8 percent, three points higher than the three-year CDR national rate. The three-year CDR will not go into effect until 2012, but Tennessee still fares pretty poorly under the existing two-year CDR, with these numbers from 2007, the latest available:

Two-Year Federal Student Loan Default Rate

Tennessee 2007

(by percent)

Private 4-year ***** 5.1

U.S. average ******* 6.7

Public 4-year ******** 6.9

TN average *********** 8.4

Private 2-year ************ 9.5

Proprietary ************** 11.8

Public 2-year **************** 13.3