|UW-Eau Claire||News Bureau|
|Schofield Hall 218|
|Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
MAILED: Feb. 10, 1997
EAU CLAIRE - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students have the best record in the state in terms of repaying their student loans.
Financial aid director Kathleen Sahlhoff said UW-Eau Claire students' rate of repayment is more than 97 percent, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics contained in a recent UW System report.
The report shows UW-Eau Claire's student loan default rate to be among the lowest among System institutions in 1994 and the lowest over a four-year period. It was 1.8 percent in 1991 and 1992, 2.1 percent in 1993, and 2.7 percent in 1994.
Overall the UW System's default rate was 4.1 percent, compared to the national average default rate of 10.7 percent in 1994. Because the national rate has fallen from 22 percent in 1990 to 10.7 percent in 1994, about $1.5 billion more is available within existing federal aid appropriations for new loans.
In 1993, the national average for all public four-year schools was 6.9 percent, 14.5 percent for public two-year schools and 11.5 percent for all institutions. The 1994 statistics were not available.
More than 4,800 UW-Eau Claire students participate annually in need-based aid programs while about 6,200 of the university's approximately 10,300 students receive some form of financial aid, Sahlhoff said. The average indebtedness of a UW-Eau Claire graduating student was $10,840 in 1996.
Sahlhoff said UW-Eau Claire's tradition of low default rates is the result of several factors including the nature of UW-Eau Claire students and their sense of responsibility. In addition, she said, placement statistics show that UW-Eau Claire students are finding jobs after they graduate, which contributes to their ability to repay their loans.
"Also, we award loans conservatively," Sahlhoff said. "We emphasize work study whenever possible, and we only award additional unsubsidized loans after the students have reviewed all the terms and are certain they want an additional loan.
"Entrance and exit interview are required by law. I think UW-Eau Claire does a conscientious job of presenting this information in clear, understandable terms - especially in our exit interviews."
The university's low default rate is among the reasons UW-Eau Claire was selected in 1995 by the Department of Education to participate in a direct loan program. The program simplifies the lending process by making the university the lender on behalf of the federal government. Taxpayers save about 3 percent on money loaned under the direct loan program because no interest is paid as a subsidy to lenders/banks.
[Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 23, 1997