The default rates on student loans are becoming big news. Until now, however, default worry has mostly been about for-profit schools. Turns out it’s a rather more serious problem. According to an article by Tamar Lewin in the New York Times:

The Department of Education on Friday released data on student-loan repayment rates at the nation’s colleges and universities, listing the institutions by name.

Although the department issued no analysis or comparison of repayment rates by sector, outside advocacy groups that analyzed the data found that in 2009, repayment rates were 54 percent at public colleges and universities, 56 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 36 percent at for-profit colleges.

That means that the majority of students who attend for-profit schools don’t pay back their loans. This isn’t really much of a surprise.

More interestingly, however, this indicates that loan repayment rates are pretty bad everywhere. It looks like excessive student loan debt is a much bigger problem than Americans thought. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer