Recent college students are defaulting on their student loans in growing numbers. If default rates get bad enough, it can threaten federal funding for their alma maters. But a group of historically black colleges in Texas may have found a way to slow the default problem by counseling students about their financial responsibilities.
Ten years ago, schools like Texas Southern University faced closure when their high rates of defaults threatened to close them. They joined together and came up with a program that brought the default rates down, and ended up improving a lot more on campus.
Bronte Jones coordinated the emergency effort while working for the financial aid office at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. Erin Dillon chronicled their experience for the Washington think tank Education Sector. They join our conversation about loan defaults and how colleges might help protect both themselves and students from financial trouble.