The Tempest

Solano Community College improves default rates

Dagmar Kuta/Tempest

Zuriel Sanders, Staff writer

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Solano College has dodged a bullet with its cohort default rate.

Cohort default rates measure the college’s share of their federal student loan borrowers who default within a specified period of time after entering repayment.

A direct loan that is 360 days past due is considered defaulted. For FFEL loans, 270 days past due is considered defaulted.

The national average cohort default rate is about 11.8%. Solano’s CDR two years ago was 31.5 percent, according to Robin Darcangelo. Darcangelo is the associate dean of students, financial aid, EOPS, and veterans.

Colleges with a CDR of 25 percent or higher for three years in a row can lose eligibility for federal grants and loans.

“This is great news for Solano Community College,” Darcangelo wrote in an email announcement to the college. “The results of our institution’s Default Prevention Project taskforce has increased student success, and provided more support and awareness toward their educational journey,” Darcangelo’s email said.

An SCC committee developed a new default plan based around student data, and consulted with the Educational Credit Management Corporation, a non-profit company working with SCC on the defaults. According to ECMC, the CDRs have been projected to be reduced to 15.84 percent as of Sept. 30, 2015, with more than 44 percent of borrowers in the process of repayment.

In the month of September, ECMC made 682 calls, sent 428 emails, and 42 letters to borrowers who were available to be “cured.” Their effort resulted in 10 total cures, Darcangelo’s announcement said.

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Solano Community College improves default rates