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This study examined the characteristics of students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), focusing on 14 HBCUs with student loan default rates of 25 percent or more over the last 3 years, which are high enough to jeopardize their continued participation in federal financial aid programs. It was found that, in general, students from HBCUs come from low-income families, are highly dependent on financial aid, and educationally disadvantaged, and that most HBCUs have lower endowments, less funding for institutional scholarships, lower graduation rates, and limited technological resources compared to other colleges and universities. Of the 14 HBCUs surveyed, most lacked effective default management strategies and tools, as well as effective entrance and exit counseling in regard to student debt responsibilities. The study concluded that HBCUs could lower student loan default rates by developing default management teams that included campus leadership, hiring a default manager, increasing retention and graduation rates, involving faculty, increasing and repackaging institutional scholarships and fellowships, instituting consumer debt management courses, and joining the National Student Loan Clearinghouse. Other strategies suggested including partnerships with private industry, increases in federal Pell grant aid, increases in federal funds for retention and default prevention programs, and increased loan forgiveness incentives. (MDM)

Descriptors: Black Colleges, Blacks, College Administration, College Students, Educational Finance, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, Financial Problems, Graduation, Higher Education, Loan Default, Low Income Groups, Money Management, Partnerships in Education, Scholarships, School Business Relationship, Student Financial Aid, Student Loan Programs

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Autor: Sallie Mae, Reston, VA.


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