Bulletin News

SUNY Cortland Recognized for Low Student Loan Default Rate


SUNY Cortland ranks third in the SUNY system and is among the top 10 percent of colleges nationwide for having the lowest rate of federal student loan defaults.

According to an October 2017 survey conducted by the Student Loan Report, SUNY Cortland graduates defaulted on federal student loans at a 2.77 percent rate, which is significantly lower than the national and New York state averages of 11.5 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

SUNY Cortland ranked at No. 191 among the 1,900 U.S. colleges included in the report.

The affordability of SUNY Cortland plays an important role in the results, said Michele Baran, assistant director/online operations specialist for Career Services.

“The cost of a SUNY education is affordable relative to a lot of institutions,” Baran said.

Using information from the Department of Education, Student Loan Report compared data from graduates entering loan repayment in 2014. Three years of data shows that SUNY Cortland graduates have been successful in paying back their student loan debt.

According to Career Services’ Graduate Outcomes for SUNY Cortland’s class of 2016, 49 percent of graduates found a job in their field of study and another 38 percent of respondents were continuing their education in graduate programs. Of the students who went straight into the workforce, 86 percent had secured employment within six months, including 24 percent who had a job lined up before Commencement.

“Jobs are coming back, the market is opening up and employers are offering more competitive salaries,” Baran said.

Baran also believes Cortland students who are actively engaged on campus find employment faster than those who are not, making it easier for them to pay back federal student loans.

“Our students are intelligent, motivated and competitive. It’s not just going to class, it’s also about doing things outside of the classroom,” Baran said.

The Financial Aid Office is open year-round to offer advice on scholarships, loans and financial aid to students and families.

Students also are encouraged to visit Career Services for career counseling, resume and cover letter critiques and information about job opportunities.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern McKenzie Henry