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Cohort Default Rate Resources

This page provides background and links about cohort default rates for reporters, policymakers, and the general public. If you have questions about your own student loans, please see these consumer-oriented links.

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What is the Cohort Default Rate?

Most Recent CDR Tools & Resources

CDR Resources by Cohort year

What is the Cohort Default Rate?

Colleges' "cohort default rates" (CDRs) measure the share of their federal student loan borrowers who default within a specified period of time after entering repayment. Colleges with high CDRs may lose future eligibility for federal grants and loans.

These rates have long included the share of borrowers who default within two years of entering repayment. To more accurately measure defaults, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 required the use of more meaningful three-year CDRs to sanction schools that exceed certain thresholds beginning in 2014, after three years of official three-year CDRs are available. The September 2013 CDR release includes the second official rates of default within the longer, three-year window of time. It also includes the last official two-year CDRs that will be calculated and used for sanctioning schools.

The most recent two-year CDRs are for borrowers who entered repayment in federal fiscal year 2011 (FY11) and defaulted in FY11 or FY12. The most recent three-year CDRs are for borrowers who entered repayment in FY10 and defaulted in FY10, FY11, or FY12.

A student defaults on a federal loan after at least 270 days (nine months) of non-payment. Defaulting on a loan has several serious consequences, including adding significantly to the cost of a loan and ruining the borrower's credit score. For colleges, defaulted loans are not generally counted in their cohort default rate until they are 360 days (nearly one year) overdue, leaving a gap of up to 90 days between when borrowers and colleges may first experience the consequences of default.

Most Recent CDR Tools & Resources

From TICAS

  • TICAS Participation Rate Index (PRI) Worksheet (February 2014)
    This tool helps colleges with low borrowing rates understand whether they may qualify for exemptions from CDR sanctions, based on FY 2011 3-Year CDRs. [Excel download, Microsoft 2007 or newer]

  • Recommendations to Curb CDR Manipulation (June 2013)
    TICAS comments on CDR manipulation and what the Department can and should do to curb CDR manipulation on pages 14-19 of these comments on topics for negotiated rulemaking.

  • TICAS Memo on CDR Manipulation (August 2012)
    Memo identifying steps the US Department of Education can and should take to prevent colleges from evading basic accountability measures designed to protect both students and taxpayers.

From the US Department of Education

CDR Resources by Cohort Year  

Cohort Year

 2-Year CDRs

 3-Year CDRS

FY11

TICAS News Release: Official CDRs (Sep 13)

Sortable CDR Spreadsheet (Sep 13) 

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 13) 

Ed Dept CDR Materials (Sep 13)  

(WILL BE AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2014)

FY10

TICAS News Release: Official CDRs (Sep 12)

Sortable CDR Spreadsheet (Sep 12) 

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 12) 

Ed Dept CDR Materials (Sep 12)  

TICAS News Release: Official CDRs (Sep 13)

Sortable CDR Spreadsheet (Sep 13) 

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 13) 

Ed Dept CDR Materials (Sep 13)  

FY09 TICAS News Release (Sep 11)

Blog: Aggregate 2-Year CDRs (May 11)

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 11)

Aggregate draft 2-Year CDRs from Ed Dept
(May 11)
TICAS News Release: Official CDRs (Sep 12)

Sortable CDR Spreadsheet (Sep 12)

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 12) 

Ed Dept CDR Materials (Sep 12) 
FY08 TICAS News Release (Sep 10)

Ed Dept News Release (Sep 10)
Blog: Revised 3-Year CDRs (Apr 11) 

TICAS News Release (Feb 11)
2-Year and 3-Year FY08 CDRs by School, Made Easier to Use and Understand by the Project on Student Debt (Apr 11) 
FY07 Ed Dept News Release (Sep 09) TICAS News Release (Dec 09)

Ed Dept Info About 3-Year CDRs (Dec 09)


(page updated September 2013)

 

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