Mo. student loan default rate lower than national average

May 30, 2012

The latest U.S. Department of Education figures show Missouri’s average student loan default rates are lower than the national average and institutions paired with the Missouri Department of Higher Education have even lower rates.

Missouri’s student loan default rate in 2009 was 7.6 percent while the national average was 8.8 percent. The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) works with financial offices and lenders to avoid defaults. Universities working with the MDHE had an average rate of 6.3 percent.

Director of Financial Aid at the University of Missouri, Nick Prewett, says MU’s rates are even lower, 2.3 percent, because of increased efforts from MU’s financial office coupled with aid from MDHE.

“We also do quite a bit of outreach effort with our students to make sure that they understand that they have student loans that they need to start repaying those when that repayment period starts. And so, we use quite a few different resources and outreach tools to make sure that occurs,” Prewett said.

He also said he believes MU’s student loan default rate remains low because of the demographics of its student population.