Frank Kesterman


Although postsecondary education institutions are responsible .for keeping default rates low, the current measure of cohort default rates only examines defaults that occur within the borrower's first and second year of repayment. At the Student Loan Repayment Symposium, held in Washington, DC on October 2-4, 2000, financial aid professionals concluded that the two-year measure of cohort default rates on federal student loans is not representative of actual default experience over longer periods. It is time to follow up on this conclusion. This article considers alternative ways of measuring defaults in the student loan programs, and recommends a follow-up symposium leading to the establishment of a national task force.