MONROE, La. (9/14/19) — What’s 8 1/2 by 11 inches, has 4 sides and has the ability to put you in debt for the rest of your life?
If you guessed a college degree, you’re right on the money.
Speaking of money, a report done in April by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that as many as 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt. Despite this staggering fact, one of our hometown schools ranks number one for lowest default rates in the UL system.
“Every incoming freshman takes a course, beginning freshman class, and they are, as part of that lesson, they understand the significance and the consequences of taking out too much debt,” said Dr. Michael Camille, Vice President of Information Services at University of Louisiana Monroe.
ULM is taking initiative when it comes to preparing their students for loan payment after graduation. The national cohort default rate, or the rate of students who don’t pay on their loans within three years of graduating or dropping out is 10.8% nationally and over 11% for the state of Louisiana. ULM’s most recent cohort default rate is 5.5%.
“That number has been going down over the last couple years,” said Dr. Camille. He credits the decline in part to several university departments.
“The reach out that we do from our student success center. We have retention mentors that work with students and give them the information along the way,” said Dr. Camille.
It seems a key ingredient of ULM’s recipe for financial success after graduation revolves around preparation. Something that students appreciate.
“We’re already trying to find a career that will allow us to live. So it is important so that when we graduate we are not stuck in a financial hole,” said Erick Burton, junior at ULM.