Bad news: The slice of borrowers defaulting on their federal student loans grew.
Nationally, 8.8 percent of borrowers defaulted in the first two years of repayment — up from 7 percent the year before, according to Department of Education data released Monday.
Minnesota is, predictably, better than average. But its rate rose, as well.
About 5.8 percent borrowers who attended Minnesota schools defaulted — up from 3.7 percent, according to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
“We actually have a higher percentage of students who borrow,” said Tricia Grimes, policy analyst for the office. “But our default rates have always been among the lower one-fourth [of states].”
The new rates capture borrowers who defaulted before Sept. 30, 2010, on payments that came due between Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2009.
Before we get to the "why," let's look at the numbers. Some interesting points emerge when you compare Minnesota’s rates to the rest of the country.
For one, for-profit schools based here perform better than their counterparts nationally. The default rate for Minnesota for-profits — which includes all students who attended Capella and Walden universities — is 6.4 percent. That’s dramatically lower than the national for-profit rate of 15 percent.
Here, students at public two-year colleges are more likely to default than those at for-profits. Nationally, that’s flipped.
The chart below was prepared by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, using the federal data.