[Note: See VCU’s Commonwealth Times for the complete story.]
Anam Kamal could have moved out of her parents’ house after she graduated from VCU in May. Instead, she chose to keep living at home so she could pay off her student loans.
“It didn’t make sense in my head, to live on my own and have to pay rent and still have the student loans sitting,” Kamal said. “I didn’t want to carry that burden.”
Just as Kamal is making sure she doesn’t miss her student-loan payments, other VCU students are doing the same. At a time when the national student-loan default rate went up, VCU’s default rate fell – from more than 2.7 percent in 2007 to 2.3 percent in 2008, according to new statistics released this month by the U.S. Department of Education.
According to a Commonwealth Times analysis of the data, VCU’s lowered default rate was one of the biggest drops among the large public schools in Virginia and among VCU’s peer institutions nationwide. The analysis showed that VCU compared favorably with:
- The 13 other public schools in Virginia that offer master’s and doctoral degrees. Only one school – Virginia Tech – had a bigger decrease in its default rate. At 10 of the schools, the default rate increased. Virginia’s large public schools had a combined default rate of 3 percent in 2008.
- The 25 schools that VCU considers as its peer institutions. Only one of those schools – the University of Chicago at Illinois – had a bigger decrease in its default rate. The default rate rose at 15 of the schools, such as the University of Southern California and the University of Nevada at Reno. The peer schools had a combined default rate of 2.9 percent.