Certain American politicians are calling on private colleges to prove that their students will get jobs before the taxpayers lend those students money. That’s because recent statistics have shown that 25 per cent of private college student loans are defaulted-on within three years, compared to 11 per cent of loans to students at public non-profit schools.
The problem of defaults isn’t nearly as big in Canada. In fact, default rates have generally dropped in the past decade. That said, key performance indicator data from Ontario’s universities shows that defaults are a bigger problem for some graduates than others. In five programs, every single student was able to pay back their loans in 2009, indicating a healthy job market in those fields. But some programs had one in 20 graduates defaulting, indicating those grads have more trouble finding work. Here are the numbers, from the most defaults to the least.
“Other” Arts and Science 7.0 per cent
Physical Science 5.7 per cent
Humanities 5.4 per cent
Social Sciences 4.9 per cent
Fine and Applied Arts 4.6 per cent
Theology 4.4 per cent
Kineseology and Physical Education 3.8 per cent
Nursing 3.1 per cent
Business and Commerce 3.0 per cent
Agriculture & Biological Science 2.7 per cent
Other Health Professions 2.6 per cent
Mathematics 2.6 per cent
Journalism 2.5 per cent
Computer Science 2.5 per cent
Law 2.4 per cent*
Architecture 2.1 per cent
Food Science and Nutrition 1.9 per cent
Engineering 1.7 per cent
Education 1.2 per cent
Therapy and Rehabilitation 0.3 per cent
Veterinary Medicine NONE
* The figure for Law is skewed by a program at Algoma that had a default rate of 33 per cent.