Report: Two Idaho Colleges Have Higher Loan Default Rates Than Grad Rates


A new report, "In Debt and in the Dark," indicates that two Idaho higher-ed institutions—ITT Technical Institute in Boise and North Idaho College—are among 265 colleges, universities and private schools with default rates that exceed the schools' graduation rates.

The report, published by USA Today in partnership with the Education Sector, a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based think tank, examined loan defaults, which according to the U.S. Department of Education consists of a loan when the the borrower is 270 days behind on payments.

According to the study, which examined 2010 statistics, ITT Technical Institute in Boise had a 34.1 percent default rate and a 26 percent graduation rate.

The study says North Idaho College had a 19.6 percent default rate and a 19 percent graduation rate.

Educators argue that students attending community colleges are generally less likely to graduate than students attending four-year universities due to poor academic preparation or poor motivation.

According to the report, hundreds of thousands of students are enrolled in the schools that were "red flagged" by the research. Nearly half of the 265 schools noted in the study are operated by for-profit colleges and about one-third of the schools were public community colleges.