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Three-year Official Cohort Default Rates for Schools

On October 28, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) published in the Federal Register the regulations enacted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2009 that will govern the calculation of cohort default rates. Under the new provisions, an institution's cohort default rate is calculated as the percentage of borrowers in the cohort who default before the end of the second fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the borrowers entered repayment. This extends the length of time in which a student can default from two to three years.

A 3-year cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year. Please refer to the Cohort Default Rate Guide for a more in-depth description of cohort default rates and how the rates are calculated.

The U.S. Department of Education releases official cohort default rates once per year. The FY 2011 official 3-year cohort default rates were delivered to both domestic and foreign schools on September 22, 2014, electronically via the eCDR process. All schools must enroll in eCDR to receive cohort default rate notification. Schools may check their eCDR enrollment online or by calling CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800-330-5947.

Secretary Duncan announced that the FY 2011 3-year national cohort default rate is 13.7 percent. The Department also released a summary of the FY 2011 official 3-year cohort default rates by state and by institution type. We are also providing a briefing on the national default rates.

Schools may also obtain an electronic loan record detail report via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Professional Access website. A loan record detail report contains the data used to calculate a school's FY 2011 official 3-year cohort default rate. Assistance in accessing the NSLDS site or with downloading an electronic loan record detail report is available through NSLDS Customer Service at 1-800-999-8219.

For schools interested in taking actions to manage defaults, and for schools required to submit a default prevention plan based on at least one year of a 3-year cohort default rate equal to or greater than 30 percent, please refer to the federal regulations at 34 CFR 668.217 and Appendix A within that section.

Important Note: Some schools have a small number of borrowers entering repayment. At other schools only a small portion of the student body takes out student loans. In such cases, the cohort default rate should be interpreted with caution as these rates may not be reflective of the entire school population.

Search the Cohort Default Rate Database    search the default rate database

You may search this database for one school or many schools by OPEID (Office of Postsecondary Education Identification Number), school name, city/state, institution type, or eligibility status. Note: A school must have had at least one borrower in repayment for any of the years for which a cohort default rate was calculated to be found in this database.

Other information:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fact Sheet.

Download a Zipped Microsoft Access File

The information contained in the searchable database and the downloadable files reflects schools' 3-year cohort default rate data as of September 22, 2014. Because a school may appeal its cohort default rates, a school's official cohort default rate may change. Please contact the Operations Performance Division at (202) 377-4259 or via e-mail at for the most up-to-date information regarding school cohort default rates and eligibility for Title IV student financial assistance programs.

Instructions on using these files
download all school default rates FY 2011, FY 2010, and FY 2009 official 3-year cohort default rates published for schools participating in the Title IV student financial assistance programs.
Schools subject to loss of Direct Loan Program and/or Federal Pell Grant Program eligibility due to FY 2011, FY 2010, and FY 2009 official 3-year cohort default rates of 30.0% or greater. Definition
Schools subject to loss of Direct Loan Program eligibility due to FY 2011 official 3-year cohort default rates greater than 40.0%. Definition
Schools that have an FY 2011 official 3-year cohort default rate that is less than 5.0% and are eligible to make single and non-delayed disbursements on loans used for attendance in a study abroad program as defined in Section 428G(e) of the Higher Education Act.
Schools that have FY 2011, FY 2010, and FY 2009 3-year cohort default rates less than 15.0%, including eligible foreign institutions, and that disburse in a single installment loans that are made for one semester, one trimester, one quarter, or a four-month period. These institutions are no longer required to delay the delivery or disbursement of loans for 30 days for first-time, first-year undergraduate borrowers.
Last updated May 11, 2015

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