NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1298203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Jul
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0091-5521
Understanding Loan Default among Community College Students
McKinney, Lyle; Gross, Jacob P.; Burridge, Andrea; Inge, Brittany; Williams, Alexander
Community College Review, v49 n3 p314-342 Jul 2021
Objective: The purpose of our study was to identify the factors associated with federal loan default among a nationally-representative sample of community college students. The guiding research question was: For community college students who borrow federal loans, to what extent do demographic, academic, and enrollment characteristics relate to default? Methods: Using data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09), our analysis focused on loan repayment outcomes six years after enrollment for students who began their postsecondary careers at a community college (i.e., a public, two-year institution) and had not transferred to a four-year institution. The analytic methods included descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression. Results: Compared to their peers who did not use federal loans, borrowers were more likely to be female, unmarried, lower-income, a Pell Grant recipient, and enrolled exclusively full-time. Regression results indicated that compared to borrowers still in repayment, defaulters were more likely to be male, first-generation college, lower-income, enrolled in workforce certificate and applied associate degree programs, lateral transfers, and non-completers. Notably, two-thirds of the defaulters had $5,000 or less in outstanding debt. Conclusions: Many of the student groups that have traditionally experienced the lowest rates of success at the community college are also the populations more likely to default on their loans. Relatively low levels of debt can still place severe financial hardship on community college borrowers. We propose several modifications to federal loan policy and institutional practices that could help reduce the number of community college borrowers who default.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study