Student loan default rates lower in Fulton

Student loan default rates are rising around the nation but the default rates at both colleges in Fulton are far below the national average of 8.8 percent for 2009, the last available rate from the U.S. Department of Education.

The tabulated student loan default rate for 2008 at William Woods University in Fulton showed only 2.0 percent for 829 student loans in repayment with 17 in default.

Westminster College in Fulton had 131 student loans in repayment in 2008 with 5 in default for a 3.8 percent default rate.

The University of Missouri-Columbia also had a low student loan default rate. It had a 2.3 percent default rate with 5,217 loans in repayment and 125 in default.

Other 2008 default rates for area colleges and universities are:

• Columbia College 5.4 percent default rate with 2,765 loans in repayment and 151 in default.

• Stephens College 5.6 percent default rate with 194 loans in repayment and 11 in default.

• Lincoln University 15 percent default rate with 812 loans in repayment and 122 in default.

• University of Central Missouri 3.5 percent default rate with 2,480 loans in repayment and 88 in default.

• Central Methodist University 5.5 percent default rate with 393 loans in repayment and 22 in default.

• Linn State Technical College 4.8 percent default rate with 269 loans in repayment and 13 in default.

William Woods University issued a press release recently stating that its most recent student loan default rate is only 1.6 percent.

The national student loan default rates have been steadily increasing since 2003. Those rates rose from 7 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009, while Missouri’s overall rate increased from 5.8 percent to 7.6 percent.

All of these percentage rates are based on borrowers whose first payments came due between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009, and who defaulted before Sept. 30, 2010.

A lack of employment and the inability to find a job after graduation is affecting the rising default rate throughout the nation.

A study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in 2011 showed only 53 percent of college graduates are employed full time.

The study also revealed the mean average salary for college graduates entering the workforce in 2009 - 2010 was $27,000.

Federal agency figures are about three years old because of the slow process of collecting and assembling data by the federal government.

The national student loan default rates have been steadily increasing since 2003. Those rates rose from 7 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009, while Missouri’s overall rate increased from 5.8 percent to 7.6 percent.

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