Money moves: UNF ranks nationally for low student loan default rates

Courtney Green, News editor

Student loans are the bane of a college student’s existence. The idea of taking on debt in exchange for a degree that might land you a job that can then pay off that debt may even be anxiety inducing for some students. But UNF students have less to worry about, according to the United States Department of Education.

Just this past week, UNF tied No. 25 in the ranking for lowest student loan default rates in the U.S. What’s more: if you take out specialized and technical universities and only look at universities that offer a wide range of majors like UNF, the ranking becomes even more impressive: No. 5 in the country, according to UNF’s PR department

For those who don’t know, student loan default is when a student takes out a loan to attain a degree but fails to pay that loan back after three years. Just as a numbers comparison, UNF’s Cohort Default Rate (the percentage of students who borrowed and then defaulted after three years) in 2016 was 1.3 percent, while the national default rate sits at over 10 percent.

Student loans are a hot topic among campus communities, as well as politically. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education reported nearly 500,000 students who defaulted on their loans out of the 4.5 million student loan borrowers who began paying. According to Pew Research Center, one-third of adults under the age of 30 have student loan debt, and collectively Americans owed around 1.5 trillion in student loans. Many of the Democratic candidates in the upcoming election cycle have made promises and drafted plans for relieving the student debt crisis.

In the midst of the above facts, UNF has prevailed as an institution of higher learning that doesn’t come with the higher cost. 

“This is further evidence of the outstanding value of a UNF education,” Dr. Jay Coleman, UNF Vice President of Data Analytics said. “It’s also a by-product of the stellar employment rates and starting salaries of our graduates, which are among the best in the State University System.”

This news comes on the heels of UNF’s recent accolade of ranking No. 281 for “National Universities” and No. 140 in “Top Public Schools” out of the more than 1,900 colleges and universities nation-wide considered in the rankings. 

Not only is UNF an institution of higher learning on par with top-tier universities, but it’s also the safe choice financially for when you have to pay off your student loans.


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