Default Management

As the Director of Federal Student Aid's Operations Performance Division (OPD), I welcome you to the Default Management Web site.

On October 28, 2009, the Department of Education published in the Federal Register the regulations enacted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2009 (HEOA) that govern the calculation of cohort default rates. Under the new provisions, a school’s cohort default rate is calculated as the percentage of borrowers in the cohort who default before the end of the second fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the borrowers entered repayment. The regulations extended the length of time in which a borrower who is in default can be included in the default rate calculation.

In February 2012, schools began receiving both a 2-year and 3-year cohort default rate.  This is the final year that schools will receive two sets of rates.  Next year, in 2014, only the 3-year cohort default rates will be released; 2-year rates will no longer be calculated.   This web site integrates the publication of both the 2-year and 3-year cohort default rates while providing default-related information, references, and resources for these rates in one location.

OPD calculates draft and official 2-year and 3-year cohort default rates, disseminates the rates to schools electronically and allows schools the ability to challenge/appeal the rates since both benefits and sanctions apply to particular cohort default rate thresholds. Guaranty agency and lender cohort default rates are also calculated and disseminated by OPD; however, this Web site pertains only to school cohort default rates and associated issues including default prevention.

I invite you to peruse the question and answer section in which we include our most frequently asked questions. This section includes questions on 3-year cohort default rates.  Should you need any further information regarding school cohort default rates, please contact our hotline at (202) 377-4259 or e-mail us at

In addition to cohort default rate assistance, Federal Student Aid provides default prevention support for schools. For questions related to default prevention, contact For consolidated delinquency and default prevention resources, refer to the Default Prevention Resource Information Web page.

Thank You,
Katrina Turner 
Operations Performance Division

The audience-specific links listed below are categorized by Financial Aid Professionals, Data Managers and Students.

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