Protecting Colleges and Students: Community College Strategies to Prevent Default

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Association of Community Colleges Trustees


Student loan default, defined as federal loan borrowers’ failure to make any payments for at least 270 days, is an issue of increasing importance to community colleges and their students. Just 17 percent of community college students borrow federal loans, but with college costs rising faster than grant aid or family incomes, more students are turning to federal loans to help fill the gap. Driven in part by a sluggish economy in communities across the country, the share of borrowers who default on their federal loans has also been rising. This report details issues about student loan defaults across nine colleges, the strategies colleges use to help students repay their loans, and the federal policies that are needed to enhance community colleges’ efforts to reduce or prevent delinquency and default.



Federal aid to higher education, degree completion, student financial aid, student loans