In a state that’s less prone than most to student loan payback problems, some of Hawaii’s two-year colleges are showing alarmingly high rates of default.
Three out of every ten borrowers at Hilo’s Hawaii Community College, for example, defaulted on their loans after entering repayment in 2010. Nearly a fourth of the students from the University of Hawaii Maui College did, too.
The Honolulu Community College rate for the same period pushed 18 percent, but the national average three-year default rate for public two-year colleges was 21 percent.
Hawaii as a whole is well under the national student loan rate.
The percentage of University of Hawaii at Manoa borrowers who defaulted on their federal student loans within three years of when their payment schedule began in 2010 was slightly more than 4 percent — a heartening statistic considering the default rate for students across the country as a whole was nearly 15 percent. The default rate for Hawaii Pacific University students was also about 4 percent.
Overall, just 9 percent of Hawaii’s former college students — representing an array of public, nonprofit and for-profit institutions — defaulted on their loans three years after they went into repayment in 2010, the most recent year for which meaningful default data from the U.S. Department of Education is available.
But the statewide data masks grave disparities among individual campuses across Hawaii. These discrepancies offer a glimpse into which students are getting by after college — and which aren’t.
Photo Credit: PF Bentley for Civil Beat