For 45 years, Walden University has played an important role in higher education and as an advocate for and innovator of outcomes-driven measures for success. We take our financial aid responsibilities very seriously and have worked hard over many years to be good stewards of federal financial aid.
Cohort default rates – The most established, recognized, and understood government-created student loan metric is the cohort default rate (CDR).
New loan repayment measurements – The new measures used recently by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and The Brookings Institution are untested and not yet understood. These points present a few of Walden’s concerns about the methodology:
Inconsistent treatment of interest payments:
Unfair treatment of borrowers who opt for an income-driven repayment option:
For the purposes of analyzing loan repayment, both Brookings and the DOE are only treating favorably borrowers who opt to repay through the DOE’s 10-year standard plan.
New data only includes undergraduates:
Walden fully supports new efforts to assess student debt and institutional accountability; however, these new measurements require further exploration and explanation. We welcome the opportunity to work with policymakers to ensure new metrics take into account the complex issues and nuances to measure the financial responsibility of an institution and to accurately reflect the ability of students to manage their federal student debt.