W.V. Exceeds National Student Loan Default Rate

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - A West Virginia higher education official isn't surprised by the state's high rate of college loan defaults.

Angela Bell with the Higher Education Policy Commission says the state has a large number of low-income and first-generation students. She tells the Charleston Gazette that many of these students are less likely to complete their degrees and then pay off their loans.

A recent U.S. Department of Education report says West Virginia's loan default rate in fiscal 2009 was 9.7 percent, the 14th worst in the nation.

The national default rate was 8.8 percent.

Bell says state policymakers can alleviate the problem by helping students complete their degrees.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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