Indianapolis – Western Governors University’s official student loan default rate dropped again for the FY 2015 cohort, to 4.1 percent, which is less than half the national rate of 10.8 percent. The U.S. Department of Education released official cohort default rates (CDR) for all Title IV-eligible institutions. The downward trend at WGU is the result of access to affordable, high-quality degree programs combined with student financial literacy initiatives.
"WGU Indiana offers students affordable pathways to degree completion. We advise students to make smart, informed decisions about their student loans,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor, Allison Barber. “By completing an undergraduate or graduate degree, WGU Indiana students are graduating with less debt and wisely investing in their careers.”
While founded on the premise of affordable and accessible education, which intrinsically enables students to borrow less, WGU is committed to helping students with fiscal responsibility. In 2013, WGU implemented its Responsible Borrowing Initiatives (RBI) program, a personalized student advising program aimed at encouraging students to borrow wisely. Since then, the average borrowing per student per year (for undergraduates who choose to take out loans) has decreased by 40 percent—the average debt at graduation is about $15,000, which is less than half the national average. In addition, in a 2017 survey of graduates by Harris Poll Online, WGU graduates reported an average increase in salary of $21,200 within four years of graduation, compared to an average of $12,000 among other universities in the United States.