Diplomas and debts

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The Department of Education has just released stats on student loan defaults. The worst in Minnesota: Duluth Business University with a default rate of nearly 35 percent, and Rainy River Community College with a default rate of almost 29 percent.

In general, reports MPR, Minnesota students did a lot better than that, with only a 6 percent overall default rate, compared to 12 percent nationwide. All Minnesota private, for-profit colleges and two-year colleges had default rates in the teens, while public four-year colleges had a default rate of only 3 percent, and private four-year colleges had a default rate of only 2.5 percent. MPR has a table of all MN colleges and default rates.

Students who finish their degrees have lower default rates, because they have a better chance of being employed. No surprise there.

Harris Miller, president and CEO of the Career College Association, which represents for-profit colleges, told APthat part of the reason for their high default rate is that they accept so many low-income students. Funny, I’d guess that it has more to do with their high tuition, low graduation rates and consequent inability of indebted ex-students to find jobs that pay enough to make the loan payments.

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