By Debbie Bradford, USA Funds Consultant
By now you probably know your school’s 2010 three-year cohort default rate and 2011 two-year cohort default rate.
Those rates may have sparked your office to establish a plan for lowering your rates in the future. Your school may even be federally required to develop a default prevention plan, and you may be facing sanctions tied to a high cohort default rate.
When planning your attack on high default rates, remember this: Get help.
My colleagues on the USA Funds® team of consultants and I frequently tout the importance of administrative buy-in in successful default prevention efforts. And if your school’s cohort default rate is putting it in danger of sanctions, chances are your school’s top-level administration already recognizes the importance of getting your rates back on track.
You’ll also need support from a variety of other areas on campus. In fact, if your school’s cohort default rate hit the threshold for being federally required to develop a default prevention plan, you’ll also have to establish a task force to address the issue.
Not sure where to turn on campus for help in your default prevention efforts? You may want to start simple, recruiting a few key allies at your school you know can help champion your cause. Then build from there, assembling a team that will help you incorporate debt management messages throughout the campus experience.
Here are some campus areas whose representatives you may want to include on your debt management team:
- Enrollment management.
- Student success.
- Academic affairs.
- Alumni affairs.
- Career planning.
- Institutional research.
- Student government.
Then go to work establishing a debt management plan for your school, meeting regularly — and continuing to meet even after putting the plan in action, to review and revise the plan as necessary.
Contact USA Funds for more help with encouraging campus-wide collaboration for default prevention. USA Funds also provides a variety of default prevention tools to include in your plans to lower your cohort default rate.