Following the U.S. Department of Education’s release of the FY2016 national cohort default rate. Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, released the following statement:
“Our sector is fully committed to ensuring our students’ success. We have spent the better part of a decade focused on improving access and outcomes at our colleges and universities. This is exhibited in lower overall default rates and higher graduation rates. As part of the larger higher education ecosystem, we also want to see every student in every sector of higher education succeed.”
“We encourage policymakers to look at the details within these rates. For example, if one removes just a few of the largest schools that offer predominately online programs, the sector’s overall default rate further declines three percentage points to less than 12%. In this case, a handful of schools have a considerable impact on the sector’s overall default rate. Such a rate is understandable based upon the demographics of the students we serve – most of whom are low-income and first in their family to attend college. We know the default rates are higher for these students."
“In FY2009, when the first three year cohort default rates were, our sector has seen a dramatic reduction from 22.7%. While there is always more work to do, the numbers reflect a significant effort by our schools to work with our students to reduce defaults. CECU will continue to work with institutions and policymakers to promote best practices that ensure students have access to the financial literacy and education necessary to make informed borrowing decisions.”