Federal Student Loan Repayment Rate by Completion Status and by Dependency Status

Sixty-seven percent of federal student loan borrowers who entered repayment in 2009-10 and 2010-11 after earning a degree or certificate had paid down at least one dollar of their loan principal after five years. This repayment rate was 41% for noncompleters.

Figure 14A: Federal Student Loan Five-Year Repayment Rate by Completion Status and by Dependency Status: Borrowers Entering Repayment in 2009-10 and 2010-11

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: The repayment rate is defined as the percentage of borrowers in each repayment cohort whose payments reduced the loan principal by at least one dollar after the specified number of years. Repayment status on each loan is attributed to the school for which the loan was taken. Therefore, a student can be counted in the repayment cohorts of more than one institution.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Education, College Scorecard data; calculations by the authors.

  • Completers had higher repayment rates than noncompleters in all sectors, but completers from the for-profit sector had lower repayment rates than noncompleters from the public and private nonprofit four-year sectors.
  • In all sectors, dependent students had higher repayment rates than independent students. Repayment rates ranged from 30% for independent students from the for-profit sector and 38% for those from public two-year colleges to 67% for dependent students from the private nonprofit four-year sector and 69% for those from the public four-year sector.