Cal Poly Pomona?s Student Loan Default Rate Second Lowest in CSU

Cal Poly Pomona achieved the second lowest Federal Perkins student loans cohort default rate of all California State University campuses as of June 30, 2003, according to a report the university recently received from the Chancellor?s Office.

The university?s current 5.3 percent cohort default rate for the Federal Perkins Loan Program has steadily and significantly declined for the past few years. The systemwide CSU average cohort default rate for the same period was 7.4 percent.

The diligence of Cal Poly Pomona?s student loan fund borrowers should be recognized, as well as the university?s Student Loans Collection Office, which communicates closely with the borrowers, according to Oliver Nandkishore in University Financial Services.

The Federal Perkins student loan program began in 1965. In nearly 40 years, the university has handed out more than $29 million in Federal Perkins loans.

Each year, Cal Poly Pomona lends approximately $1 million in Federal Perkins loans. Of the 489 loans that went into repayment last year, only 26 defaulted.

The default rate is especially noteworthy because in the last decade, loan indebtedness for borrowers to finance higher education has increased alarmingly. Institutions have to closely monitor the loan cohort default rates since penalties can be imposed by the United States Department of Education if they become too high.

?A low default rate is important for the university because if it starts climbing, there will be less financial aid money to loan out for the future generation of students,? says Nandkishore.

In addition to attaining a very low default rate in the Federal Perkins Loan program, Cal Poly Pomona also excelled in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, which includes subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford student loans and PLUS parent loans. The FFEL cohort default fate for 2001 was 2 percent at Cal Poly Pomona, 3.7 percent for the CSU, 5.7 percent statewide and 5.5 percent nationally.