Education Department Admits Errors in Draft Version of 3-Year Default Rates

The Education Department acknowledged today that it made errors in a recent calculation of student-loan default rates that inflated those rates across all sectors of higher education.

In a letter released today, the department said that in unofficial "trial" data it released in February, it inadvertently included loans that defaulted up to three months after the end of the three-year trial period.

Excluding those loans lowers the three-year cohort default rate for for-profit colleges by 2.6 percentage points, to 22.4 percent, while dropping the rates for private nonprofit colleges by 0.9 percentage points, to 6.7 percent, and for public colleges by 1.1 percentage points, to 9.7 percent.

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