UCM Student Default Rate Below National, State Averages
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 20, 2010) – When it comes to paying back college loans, University of Central Missouri students not only exceed the national average but they also continue to repay their loans at a rate that exceeds their counterparts at most public Missouri universities.
Statistics released this week by the U.S. Department of Education note that the FY 2008 Federal Stafford (student) Loan default rate for all students nationally was 7 percent, an increase of three-tenths of a percent from the previous fiscal year. Although the default rate climbed for students at public, private, and for‑profit institutions across the United States, UCM student borrowers showed significant improvement in their ability to make loan payments. UCM’s Federal Stafford Loan default rate of 4.1 percent in FY 2007 dropped to 3.5 percent in FY 2008. This is a better rate than the national average for students at all public institutions, which increased from 5.9 percent to 6 percent for the 2008 fiscal year. The national default rate for students at private institutions jumped from 3.7 to 4 percent, and the rate for borrowers at for-profit institutions rose from 11 to 11.6 percent.
UCM’s default rate ranked fourth among the 13 public peer institutions in Missouri, bettering its seventh-place position in FY 2007 and ninth-place standing in FY 2006. The University of Central Missouri was surpassed only by the Missouri University of Science and Technology in terms of the largest decrease in default rate.
“This is especially significant in light of the fact that default rate increases occurred for seven of the 13 Missouri peer schools from FY 2007 to FY 2008,” said Phil Shreves, director of Student Financial Assistance at UCM. He commended the work of his staff for “utilizing all resources available to keep Stafford Loan default rates at UCM just as low as possible.”
The FY 2008 default rate reflects borrowers who were scheduled to begin repayment of their Stafford Loans from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008, but then defaulted on one or more of their loans during either FY 2008 or FY 2009 (Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2009). A loan goes into default when the designated state guarantee agency or the federal government itself is required to pay a default claim.
Shreves said it’s often difficult to determine the exact causes for a change in a school’s default rate, but some common factors that can affect the rate from year to year include:
- socio-economic levels of the students attending a school;
- amount of need-based institutional grant funds available to award students
- resources available at a school to assist marginal and “at-risk” students;
- a school’s total cost;
- a school’s admission criteria, and policies impacting the academic probation, suspension and dismissal of students;
- employment placement rates for a school’s graduating students; and
- average annual earnings of a school’s graduates.
UCM’s Office of Student Financial Services helps administer nearly $100 million in total financial assistance each year, over $75 million of which comes from federal and state of Missouri sources. Individuals who need assistance in repaying their students loans can visit www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov for more information. Those who wish to know more about how to finance their education at UCM are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Services by calling 660-543-8266 or stopping by Ward Edwards 1100.