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Mace & Crown | February 21, 2018

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Where Does ODU Rank on Student Loan Default Rates?

Where Does ODU Rank on Student Loan Default Rates?
Jonah Grinkewitz
Staff Writer

For many college students, loans are a sad reality, and paying them back after graduation can be difficult. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education releases a report on the most recent student loan default rates. This shows the percentage of borrowers who entered repayment on certain types of student loans and defaulted or met other specified conditions.

student loan

Old Dominion University financial aid data, as cited on

For the Fiscal Year 2012, the 3-year national cohort default rate was 11.8 percent. For ODU, that rate was 5.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent in 2011, and 6.5 percent in 2010. This is also compared to 14.3 percent for Norfolk State University, 13.2 for Tidewater Community College, and 12.4 for Thomas Nelson Community College.

In most cases, students enter repayment on loans after a 6-month grace period. A school with a high default rate may lose its eligibility to participate in Federal Student Aid programs. Types of loans differ, and the ODU Office of Student Financial Aid does its best to guide students with the right decisions.

ODU had its first ever Financial Aid Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, January 28 in the Mills Godwin Building auditorium. Veera Riddick, Director of Financial Aid at ODU, and the entire financial aid staff met with and answered any questions that students had.

Other relevant schools:

Virginia Commonwealth University (2012): 4.5 Percent
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (2012): 2.1 Percent
College of William & Mary (2012): 0.6 Percent
University of Virginia (2012): 1.7 Percent
George Mason University (2012): 1.6 Percent
Norfolk State University (2012): 14.3 Percent
Tidewater Community College (2012): 13.2 Percent
Thomas Nelson Community College (2012): 12.4 Percent
Eastern Virginia Medical School (2012): 0 Percent – 250 borrowers in repayment, no defaults

“Many students only qualify for loans, but if possible we advise them to choose subsidized loans because that is still considered a form of financial aid,” Riddick said.

A subsidized loan is better because the government will cover the interest, unlike an unsubsidized loan which will accrue interest each year. According to the financial aid staff, ODU gives out “hundreds of millions” of dollars in aid each year, and students are automatically considered for aid if they follow the process correctly. They explained how students who are seeking aid need to fill out their FAFSA form by February 15 to meet the priority deadline for scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid.

In addition, students need to complete 67 percent of their classes and maintain a G.P.A. of 2.0.

“Unfortunately, there are consequences to taking student loans and you have to pay that money back. In many cases we advise students to do a payment plan and only take as much as you need,” Riddick said.

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