Edmonds CC is highlighted nationally for its efforts to reduce the student default rate
Edmonds Community College is highlighted for its strategies to combat student loan defaults in a national study released on July 22.
The study focuses on nine community colleges representing different geographic locations, student-body sizes, and academic offerings. It examines predictors of loan default and strategies colleges use to prevent it.
The report, "Protecting Colleges and Students: Community College Strategies to Prevent Default," was a collaborative effort between the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the Institute for College Access and Success.
According to the study, key findings show that completion matters and that the default rate for completers was 9 percent, but it was 27 percent for non completers.
"Student default loans are an important issue for us," said Emily Yim, Vice Chair of the Edmonds CC Board of Trustees and ACCT board member. "We're proud that our college is taking a lead in finding ways to reduce student default rates, continually improving the process for students, and breaking down barriers that exist."
"We want to make sure our students are successful beyond graduation," said Yim.
The report identifies Edmonds CC's strategies to prevent students from defaulting. These include focusing on college completion and student retention and success.
"We embed financial literacy into our gatekeeper courses, which are defined as those with high enrollments and low completions," said Edmonds CC President Jean Hernandez. "Those courses are targeted for interventions to give students the help they need to be successful."
Edmonds CC's process to require students to manually submit a request for student loans is another strategy. This process keeps the number of students who borrow to a minimum and allows students to be more conscious about the amount they truly need to borrow.
The college is also increasing outreach efforts to students who left the college with significant numbers of credits to encourage them to return to campus and complete.
"We have a good understanding of the link between completion and loan repayment," said Hernandez. "We hope to further drive down student default and delinquency through these efforts."
"The Edmonds CC Board of Trustees are proud of the college and pleased there is an effort to reach out to students who have not completed their studies," said Diana Clay, Chair of the Edmonds CC Board of Trustees. "We have the desire for all of our students to succeed."