New TICAS Report Calls for Strengthening Cohort Default Rate

With more than one million students defaulting on their loans every year, policymakers need to do more to prevent unaffordable debts, and a new TICAS report released last week underscores the importance of strengthening the cohort default rate (CDR) in order to further reduce the risk of student loan default.

Driving Down Default: How to Strengthen the Cohort Default Rate to Further Reduce Federal Student Loan Default Risk outlines key priorities for strengthening the CDR to further reduce student loan default, including specific recommendations to protect against manipulation, build in greater incentives for schools to meaningfully reduce their CDRs, and ensure the CDR effectively targets high-risk colleges.

Read the report

Defending Students Against Fraudulent Loans

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in a standoff with Congress over her failure to carry out the “borrower defense” rule. Students do not need to repay their loans if their colleges break the law, such as the deceptive recruiting practices found at large for-profit chains like Corinthian Colleges and ITT. But more than 210,000 students are on hold at the Department of Education, which has not resolved a single claim since the spring of 2018.

TICAS president James Kvaal discusses the borrower defense rule’s significance in protecting students from fraudulent schools with NPR’s Cory Turner.

Listen here:

RELAUNCHED: College Insight

We’re excited to share with you our newly updated data website, a unique resource that provides easy-to-use college profiles, unique data on student debt, and data on costs, outcomes, and more.

Whether you’re a research analyst, policy advisor, school staff, or interested in learning more about college access, affordability, and success, we can help. Compare your institution to other institutions, states, or the nation, or build a custom table from our giant library of variables to learn more about issues facing students and graduates in the U.S. We’re still making improvements to the site and need your help: if you catch any while playing with the new site and data, please report them to!

Visit College Insight

TICAS in the News

  • “FAFSA Says How Much You Can Pay for College. It’s Often Wrong.” | Tara Siegel Bernard, The New York Times
    “It will not be enough to just get the [expected family contribution] formula right,” said Jessica L. Thompson, director of policy and planning for the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit advocacy group. “To truly bring college costs within realistic reach will require much broader federal investments in financial aid and in public colleges.”
  • “Big changes could be in store for student loan borrowers”| Annie Nova, CNBC
    House Democrats this month introduced their plan to overhaul the [Higher Education Act]. “I think it’s a really constructive first step toward reauthorization,” said James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success. “There’s a lot of potential common ground in the bill, particularly around student loan issues.”
  • “Working College Students” | Madeline St. Amour, Inside Higher Ed
    Working experiences also vary depending on students’ incomes. For high-income students, their work is more likely to connect to longer-term professional and academic goals. To [Lindsay Ahlman, TICAS Associate Director of Research and Knowledge Management] the research on working students is an example of the different experiences students are having based on their incomes. “The type of privileges you enter college with tend to compound in college,” she said. Low-income students tend to work to put food on the table, she said, while high-income students use work to pursue passions and interests.

Join Us for a Day of Giving

On Tuesday, December 3, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Donate to the Institute for College Access & Success on #GivingTuesday, a national day for supporting nonprofit causes and reclaiming the spirit of the holidays. Help make a difference for low-income students and struggling borrowers by giving to TICAS – on #GivingTuesday or today!