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New Student Default Data Underscores Need for Reform of For-Profit Education Industry

WASHINGTON – Following today’s release of the Fiscal Year 2009 national student loan default data showing that for-profit colleges continue to have the highest default rate in higher education, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) reiterated his call for reform and stronger oversight of the for-profit education sector:    

“For any student, loan default is a heartbreaking situation with long term consequences.  Especially in these tough economic times, it is critically important that we ensure students are getting a quality education that will help them find a good job and pay back their loans. 

“Today’s data should give us further concerns about whether some for-profit colleges are doing enough to help their students succeed.  The cohort default rate at for-profit schools rose much faster than at public and nonprofit private colleges in 2009, and for-profit college students are more than twice as likely to default on their loans as public college students, and three times more likely than private nonprofit college students.  Coupled with sky-high tuition costs, alarming drop-out rates, poor job placement services and the many other bad practices that we’ve uncovered in the HELP Committee’s investigation, it is clear that the for-profit education industry needs greater oversight in order to ensure that students and taxpayers are getting a good value for their investment in these schools.”