A new report from the Brookings Institution finds the burden of debt on college graduates is heavier than previously thought.
The report, which looked at cohorts of students who enrolled in college between 1996 and 2004, projects four in ten of student loan borrowers who enrolled in college in 2004 could default on their loans within the next five years.
Students who enrolled in for-profit colleges took on some of the heaviest burdens. The report found the rate of default among all for-profit students is nearly four times that of public two-year students. More than half of for-profit college students who enrolled in 2004 defaulted on their loans withing 12 years.
The report also finds deep racial disparities, with black graduates defaulting at five times the rate of white graduates.B
Brookings also found black graduates are more likely to default on their loans than white dropouts.
The fix? The authors of the Brookings study suggest ramping up regulations on the for-profit sector, boosting on-time graduation rates and increasing income-based loan repayment options.