Check Out Student Loan Default Rates At The Top 20 Universities

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Photo: Flickr/Taber Andrew Bain

The U.S. Department of Education recently released student loan default rates for universities across the country.There’s a 2 year lag in the data, so the figures are from 2009– right as the financial crises was taking hold. So, no surprise: default rates jumped to 8.8% in 2009 from 7% in 2008.

You might ask yourself: “What’s the point of going to college if you’re going to end up drowning in debt or even worse, defaulting on your student loans?”

And furthermore: “Do graduates of top tier institutions fare any better financially than graduates of other schools?”

The answer is yes, they do.

We checked the default rates at the top 20 institutions, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Of the Ivy League schools, Princeton had the highest default rate. Cal Tech stood out for being the only top institution with a 0% default rate. M.I.T.’s was near 0.  It looks like science and maths majors are winning out here.

20. Emory University

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Number of students: 13,781

Loans in repay: 1,945

Default rate: 1.9%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

19. University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Number of students: 11,962

Loans in repay: 1,461

Default rate: 0.5%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

17. Vanderbilt University

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Number of students: 12,647

Loans in repay: 1,564

Default rate: 1.8%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

17. Rice University

Location: Houston, Texas

Number of students: 5,348

Loans in repay: 488

Default rate: 1.2%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

15. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, New York

Number of students: 20,534

Loans in repay: 2,687

Default rate: 0.8%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

15. Brown University

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Number of students: 8,689

Loans in repay: 839

Default rate: 0.5%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

14. Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Number of students: 14,854

Loans in repay: 1,647

Default rate: 2.1%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

13. Johns Hopkins

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Number of students: 24,442

Loans in repay: 2,226

Default rate: 0.8%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

12. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Number of students: 22,189

Loans in repay: 2,597

Default rate: 1.2%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

11. Dartmouth College

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Number of students: 6,524

Loans in repay: 691

Default rate: 0.4%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

10. Duke University

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Number of students: 15,886

Loans in repay: 1,834

Default rate: 0.7%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

5. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Number of students: 27,231

Loans in repay: 3,454

Default rate: 1%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

5. University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Number of students: 16,633

Loans in repay: 2,063

Default rate: 1.1%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

5. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California

Number of students: 22,902

Loans in repay: 1,156

Default rate: 0.6%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Number of students: 10,817

Loans in repay: 876

Default rate: 0.2%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

5. California Institute of Technology

Location: Pasadena, California

Number of students: 2,236

Loans in repay: 38

Default rate: 0

Source: U.S. Department of Education

4. Columbia University

Location: New York City, New York

Number of students: 24,740

Loans in repay: 4,153

Default rate: 1.7%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

3. Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Number of students: 1,553

Loans in repay: 12,230

Default rate: 1%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

1. Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Number of students: 7,349

Loans in repay: 132

Default rate: 2.2%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge Massachusetts

Number of students: 32,686

Loans in repay: 2,525

Default rate: 0.4%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Yep, students are in debt and here's how they got that way.

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