Borrowers’ progress in paying their federal student loans is considered a proxy for the quality and value of a higher education institution. Historically, however, efforts to report student loan repayment progress have not focused on graduate and professional degrees.
A new data set allows us to examine the progress of graduate students from each higher education institution in paying down federal student loans between 2009 and 2014.
Among graduate institutions, historically black colleges and universities have some of the lowest shares of borrowers who made progress repaying their federal student loans. Additionally, several large, private nonprofit and for-profit graduate institutions have low student loan repayment rates.
Measuring loan repayment on a per-student basis sometimes produces different results than measuring repayment on a per-dollar basis. Some graduate institutions score well on one measure but poorly on the other, revealing the complexity in using loan repayment to assess quality and value.
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