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Report – Federal Student Loan Debt Burden of Noncompleters

Federal Student Loan Debt Burden of Noncompleters, a Statistics in Brief focuses on the median federal student debt burden accrued by students who do not complete a postsecondary credential within 6 years of enrolling. It is based on data from the two most recent longitudinal studies of beginning postsecondary students conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics: students who first enrolled in 1995-96 (as of 2001) and those who first enrolled in 2003-04 (as of 2009). Highlights include:

  • In 2009, the percentage of noncompleters after 6 years ranged from 19 percent of students in private nonprofit 4-year institutions to 46 percent in public 2-year colleges or for-profit institutions. An increase in noncompletion between 2001 and 2009 was observed only for students in for-profit institutions (35 percent to 46 percent).
  • In 2009, borrowing rates from federal student loan programs ranged from 25 percent of students in public 2-year colleges to 86 percent in for-profit institutions; comparable rates for students in 4-year public and 4-year private nonprofit institutions were 54 percent and 66 percent, respectively. Note: these rates are for noncompleters.
  • In 2009, the cumulative amount borrowed per credit earned was highest for noncompleters in for-profit institutions ($350 per credit, compared with $80 to $190 per credit in the other three sectors).”
  • Related postings on the financial system

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