Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Federal student loan debt burden of students who do not complete a postsecondary credential

The cumulative federal student debt burden among students who did not complete a degree or certificate within 6 years of enrolling amounted to 35 percent of their annual income for students who first enrolled in 2003-04.

Federal Student Loan Debt Burden of Noncompleters, a Statistics in Brief, focuses on the 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).

• 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 nonprofit institutions were 58 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

• In 2009, the cumulative amount borrowed per credit earned was highest for noncompleters in for-profit institutions ($350 per credit, compared with $80 to $120 per credit in the other three sectors).

• In 2009, the median cumulative federal student debt for all noncompleters amounted to 35 percent of their annual income; debt burden was highest for students in 4-year nonprofit institutions (median debt equaled 51 percent of borrowers’ annual income). Debt burden among noncompleters who started in for-profit institutions increased from 20 percent to 43 percent of annual income between 2001 and 2009.

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