Presenting The College Whose Graduates Have A 62% Student Loan Default Rate

Tyler Durden's picture

It is common knowledge by now that the US has a student loan problem. Specifically, a subprime-sized, student loan default problem, which as was reported last year, has now surpassed a 23% default rate at "for profit" institutions. Yet as all statistical measures, this one too deals in means and medians: very boring, impersonal metrics. Where the truly stunning data emerge is when one performs a granular college by college analysis of the US higher learning system, which is precisely what the WSJ has done, breaking down some 3500 colleges and universities by annual cost, graduation rate, median amount borrowed and most importantly, student-loan default rate. In this context we feel quite bad for the students who graduate from ICPR Junior College of Puerto Rico (or rather the 52% of them who graduate), with a modest $2,250 in student loans to cover the otherwise manageable tuition of $7,158, as a mindboggling 62% of them end up defaulting on their loans!

Who else made the list of the college with the highest default rates? Here is the first page of many in a descending sort by the highest student-loan default rate:

What is quite stunning is that there are 553 colleges in the US that have a student loan default rates of over 25%.

Alternatively, if one sorts by the most expensive colleges in the US to get a sense of what opportunities some of the most respected institutions in the US offer their grads (at least based on how much is paid for the education), one gets these results:

There is much more in the full interactive list (here), although we do caution that the results may be somewhat problematic, as somehow Berea College of Kentucky, which supposedly costs negative $20,746 per year, has its students borrow $6,500 on average, with 5% of them defaulting on ther loans.

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Lost Wages's picture

The default rate at my college is only 2%, but we had a lot of rich mofos there. So whether they got jobs or not their loans got paid off by someone.

ATM's picture

Straight cash, Homey!

CPL's picture

Or people with enough common sense to work two jobs over a summer and work full time while going to school.


...does this even happen anymore?

IridiumRebel's picture

I'm doing that with a 14 month old and a wife that works full time while I work 40 hours a week. I pay as I go. I have a 3.7 GPA and am the lead delegate for the University in our Model United Nations trip(looks good in the transcript). I'm going to Law School. I'm already setting up meetings with firms. People without a job after a degree are not applying themselves. I know the market sucks, but you cannot stop until you have the job you want or at least on the path to it.....

CPL's picture

No clue who's junking you...Good luck to you and yours, you'll do alright.  

Just make sure you take the old lady out for a nice time once a quarter, the dividends on that type of investment are long term and gains are strong.  As you can see the 14 month recently obtained asset is a lot of fun, it's going to have it's ups and downs, but you'll see an awesome and versatile end product if you monitor the maturity and keep educating yourself as one of the principal trustees of your asset.


IridiumRebel's picture

Ok....I'm alright. I just cried a little but I'll be fine now. I always cry when I get down voted. Thank you. My fragile self confidence just can't handle being down voted.

Meh. In all honesty it's prolly the mention of lawyer or United Nations. I choose to exact change instead of being a limp dick bitching on an anonymous forum. Cheers!

CPL's picture

I'll hold you.  There

CaptainObvious's picture

I want to upvote you because you're paying as you go, but I want to downvote you because you're going to law school, which is one of the most overcrowded professions out there.  So I'm just going to keep my arrow finger to myself. ;)

Yen Cross's picture

I'm the biggest pussy on Z/H!  I need to listen to buzz and yourself moar... I have a habit of taking things too personally. I care too much! I hate to see people fail!


Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Yen, you post enough to the point where you need to get a avatar! People can't think your a bot.

BidnessMan's picture

Probably got junked for mentioning law school.  If most of the lawyers would apply their talent to honest work in a different profession, we would all be better off.

IridiumRebel's picture

I love it. People sit here and bitch about EBT nation and I post about frugality and achievement and I get junked. Maybe it's the arrogance. I'll try to piss off the boss, fuck up school, cheat on my wife and never talk to my child again, go on unemployment followed by disability and then pass the fucking bill in to you all. Cool? I got a Wii just collecting dust and a shitloa of Netflix movies I've been missing.....

cynicalskeptic's picture

Might want to rethink the Law Degree......   damn near every attorney I know (including the big firm partner, top school, law review, Federal court clerk - top of the top) say it was the biggest mistake they ever made.  The return on selling your soul and life isn;t what you'd think.  Those who went to 'lesser' schools and followed the ADA, corporate or private practice route are scraping by, paying off huge loans and worried to death (almost literally) about having a heart attack from the stress.

The only ones who love it are ethics-deprived soul-less slimes who revel in the cesspool.

MeBizarro's picture

Some people are junking you simply because they are a$$holes who are likely older and life has passed them by leaving them embittered and nasty.  Pay them no heed. 

Arkadaba's picture

I upvoted you for the obvious reasons but do take exception to "people without a job after a degree are not applying themselves". I've had a wild and woolly ride (with a degree and 4.0 GPA and experience) since 2008.

The upside is that I have questioned everything I've ever been taught about jobs, careers, money and finance. I have been lucky in that I've always have had jobs that corresponded to my passions. In short, for the most part, I have had jobs that I loved. Right now I have launched my own business (only a few customers) and have a contract with a university (woefully underpaid) that keeps me going. But ... I am on this weird spiritual road (and I'm not like that) figuring out what is important and why self worth in the past was so closely associated with what I did for a living when it should not have been.

My plan for the next 5 years? Self sufficiency. How I will achieve that? Not sure. I may take a "job" but will never see the "job" as the end goal unless it it is my own company.

I started peering down the rabbit hole when Clinton was in power. 2001 accelerated that process and pushed me to look at economics. I think that is when I did a have a small eureka moment. Marched against Iraq war and hated Bush and Cheney. I have to admit I got sucked in with Obama in that I really thought there might be a change .... not.

Little bears have helped in my financial education over the past few years but just saw this and ... yeah:

matrix2012's picture

@ Arkadaba, it's a good documentary that one should watch!



The Secret of Oz - Winner, Best Docu of 2010 v.1.09.11  (Uploaded on Feb 2, 2011)


"This version finally CUTS several BOGUS quotes which have festered in the monetary reform literature for decades.

[This is to say that the creator, Bill Still, already disassociated himself from The Money Masters because of more made-up quotes and the person who controls the business side of it won't let Bill edit it. It's explained in his book: "No More National Debt"]

The world economy is doomed to spiral downwards until we do two things:

1. outlaw government borrowing;

2. outlaw fractional reserve lending.

Banks should only be allowed to lend out money they actually have and nations do not have to run up a "National Debt".

Remember: It's not what backs the money, it's who controls its quantity."

Btw, Bill is seeking out help for some donation, just check his u-tube page.


BidnessMan's picture

RIch MoFos pay for their tuition plus the tuition of at least one "scholarship" recipient.  The dumb schmuck whose parents actually saved money for college are big-time subsidizing the parents who did not. 

On the other hand, the math challenged lottery ticket buyer is subsidizing college costs at state schools - so maybe it balances out?

cynicalskeptic's picture

First in family to go to college - saved like mad and my kids will get out without any debt BUT yeah, we get f*cked paying full freight.  Do the right thing, wait to have kids, limit how many you have, have bright intelligent ones at the top of their classes, save for their education instead of blowing your money on a big house and BMW and yeah, you get screwed.  

But would still rather pay full freight and have them get out debt-free with a nest egg and a future.   They know how screwed up the world is and are responsible financially - they know how much better off they are than those loaded up with debt or going to crap schools.  They may actually have a chance to change the world - unlike the majority who end up as an Assistant Manager at Jack in the Box (a cousin is very proud of his oldest, a college grad, who's doing just that).

Joe Davola's picture

Visual arts degrees are very expensive.  Hard to imagine what the graduates of The New School would do without all the advocacy groups funded by the Ford Foundation.

Sach Mahoney's picture

Why pay when Benke can print and make it all go away?  No problem.  Taxpayer to the rescue.  I am so sick of this crap.  

youngman's picture

Say I was a government Loan inspector......and I uncovered this......i would assume you would go to your supervisor to show this detail....and they would go to theirs....but somewhere..someone would stop you from doing anything...because its a wink wink redistribution of wealth thingy....this is our government now......yesterday some jobs corp was ended because of mismanagement......which means the employees took all the money...and there was not one jobs corp reciepient....but yet....noting to cut in the budget..nothing

rsnoble's picture

Just bought 10 cases of Buffalo rounds today, 300gr.  Paid dearly.  $2.00 per bullet, 20 per case.

I have many others but less expesive types.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Are you a loan collector for one of those 2% schools?


Goggles Pisano's picture

I think "The Creative Center" in Nebraska is just an expensive daycare facillity.

NotApplicable's picture

I'd say that most all of them are.

Tsunami Wave's picture

According to what I've seen so far on the WSJ Interactive section, the schools that have the highest default rates are the ones that are completely useless - i.e.: University of Phoenix, arts and acting schools, other for profit schools, no-name schools, etc.

Kim Jong-Il's picture

Love those "I'm a phoenix" commercials.

Most of them look like SEIU members.

McMolotov's picture

I looked up phoenix in the dictionary, and one of the alternate definitions was "fucking sucker."

CaptainObvious's picture

It's a proven fact that 82% of University of Phoenix online graduates can't even spell "phoenix".  The other 18% didn't bother to show up for the spelling test because they had an urgent bong party to attend.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Hey, hey... all those Ph.D's in Education - your public school superintendents and such making a nice 6 figure salary  - couldn't have gotten their jobs without that Phoenix degree

ebworthen's picture

The State schools are just as bad, and in many aspects are private for-profit enterprises anyway that simply siphon taxpayer money to run franchises, sports empires, and grant churning for ideologues that do nothing for society.

Tsunami Wave's picture

True, a lot of them are bad with their unions, enriching themselves, spending their money in bad places, etc.  Those schools though have around 2-10pc default rates (The "worse" ones being on the worser end of the default rate).  Those junk schools i mentioned in the post above though have the highest default rates.

Moral of this lesson.. (amonsgst many other lessons from this of course): Stop fucking gaurenteeing federal loans for useless schools.

ATM's picture

I think you mean stop guaranteein federal loans for ALL schools.

ebworthen's picture

I agree with ATM.

Federal loans provide a slush fund for the schools so they can overpay ideologue professors and administrators.

The money also goes to the secondary lampreys:  textbooks, housing, Dell and Apple.

It's a parasitic structure, levered promises and dreams, without requisite reward.

Meanwhile, it funds an intelligentsia removed from reality (eg. - Krugman).

MeBizarro's picture

That is a gross overgeneralization and the biggest damn problem for years and years in higher education is the lack of hard numbers that really matter including 4-year graduation rates, employment rates at graduation (say within 6-months) with detailed legit info on different kinds of employment, and salary information/net worth collected at say 5, 10, and 20 years. 

CPL's picture

I'm torn between the exciting and rewarding programs that offer me a career selection of cold drink preperation and temp work with similar debt to a 4 year college.  


Youtube is now the world leading center of learning.  Not Yale, Harvard,; dancing horse videos, dongcopter pirate and every subject presented on the planet.

ebworthen's picture

Higher Education is Higher Affirmation.

They sell degrees the way they do paper towels or toilet paper.

"It will change your life, the sun will come out, your counter shiny, your butt crack will be clean."

But really, it's just paper, and you'll still need a scrub brush and a good shower.

cynicalskeptic's picture

It's a screening process.   Always has been.   Look at the Ivies.  Hoigh grad rate, minimal default rate.  Simply GETTING IN is the challenge.  If you're part of the capitalist Nomenklatura you have a spot - a few are goven top the truly ambitious and talented willing to play the game.  Once you're in.... you're pretty much guaranteed graduation and the ticket for the rest of your life.   It either 'validates' the standing your family already had or provides entry for the selected few allowed past the barricades.

RebelDevil's picture

I have a friend who goes to U Penn now. He grew up in a middle class family. He busted his ass in HS, and was definitely compliant towards all of the rules and expectations of his teachers and adminstators, and got a 4.0 GPA.
So to get into an Ivy, you need to either be born into the very wealthy and well connected, or you sell your independence over to the system (be a suck-up and comply). I only disagree with you on that graduation is guaranteeed; he hasn't spoken to me in months because he's been so busy from the higher standards of school work.

alien-IQ's picture

I imagine that the 14% unemployment rate in Puerto Rico isn't helping matters. Mind you, 14% is the nice/feel-good government issued number. The "real" rate is likely much much higher.

q99x2's picture

Why work when you can get paid to meet young women in college. That's what I'm talking about.

earnyermoney's picture

My favorite is Golf Academy of America - Myrlte Beach

Yen Cross's picture

 62% indoctrination failure rate. LMAO!

CunnyFunt's picture


The New School <--- LOL

NEOSERF's picture

72% default rate...clearly the Bernie Madoff school of Economics is teaching the correct things...

1.  Take government money

2.  Get job that pays under the counter

3.  Default and stick it to banks(this is called "doin the Ice[land] in the inner city)

4.  Buy $300K home on $24K per year

5.  Live without paying mortgage...take more gov money or live rent free

6.  "Do the Ice" again every three years

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Mr. Spock just informed me that an even more interesting number is the product of the (Default Rate)*(Median Borrowed).  That will show you which college is most likely to saddle its students with the biggest debt.  Thank you, Mr. Spock.