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It's CDR Season: We Can Help Improve School Metrics and Student Success

September 7, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will release Fiscal Year 2015 Official 3–Year Cohort Default Rates (CDRs) to all eligible schools, guaranty agencies, and lenders later in September. We're here to help you gear up for CDR season with tips, tools, and training that will help you improve your CDR and—more importantly—set your students up for success.

Low CDRs are One Indicator of Student Success

Even when your students graduate with a degree and honors, defaulting on their student loans will be costly to them. Bad credit from student loan default limits your students' opportunities to find a good job, car, or a nice apartment, and can delay life choices about buying a home or starting a family. When students leave your school and succeed in repaying their loans, their on–time loan payments can help build their credit and give them a much needed boost to start life on the right foot.

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your CDR and Boost Student Success

Your official CDR in September is an indicator of the rate of default among students who have recently left your school. While a low percentage may seem like a good thing, for those students who make up that statistic, the long‐term negative impact can be life–changing. You can make a difference with one or several easy steps.

  1. Use tools such as our industry–standard Service Provider Loan Portfolio Detail Report to analyze key student data and flag students who need your help before they fail.
  2. Use Portfolio Navigator and Action Center to connect students who are struggling with repayment with their servicer for help getting back on track. Upload your NSLDS data into this secure tool, and you'll be able to view and filter data for easy use with targeted outreach to all of your students, regardless of their servicer.
  3. Try out College Cost Meter, an Attigo student success solution, as a cost–effective tool for clearly presenting student loan debt information to your students. While some schools use it to meet state legislative requirements, it's also a great way to empower students to achieve better outcomes. Getting repayment information in front of students while they?re enrolled is a key step to preventing default later on.
  4. Share GradReady®, a free interactive website, with your students to help them understand the impact of borrowing on later payment amounts, the effect of completing their education on future earnings, and more. Proactively using GradReady can help you reduce the number of students who struggle with repayment later on.
  5. Attend a SmartSessions free webinar on Loan Rehabilitation to learn more about this unique opportunity to help your students recover from default.


In fact, Great Lakes offers a full lineup of relevant free trainings that are easy for you and your staff to attend from the office—and they're led by experts with real-world financial aid experience.

  • Tackling Default Prevention One Month at a Time – September 18, 2018, 11:00 a.m. Central and September 25, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Central

    During this webinar, we'll share how to tackle default prevention with manageable and effective strategies for each month of the year. You'll be able to kick off the fiscal year on October 1 with a calendar that you can implement to improve repayment success and manage your rates.

  • Managing Loan Default: Making a Difference in 60 Minutes – September 19, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Central

    Managing default prevention activity is important to your institution but requires resources and time. We can show you how to improve your default rate with just a little extra effort each month.

  • How to Create Financial Wellness and Default Management Programs without Spending a Dime – September 20, 2018, 11:00 a.m. Central

    Lack of resources is one of the biggest hurdles for schools to implement programs. Save time and money by attending this webinar to learn about free resources.

  • Loan Rehabilitation: A Second Chance for Borrowers – September 27, 2018, 11:00 a.m. Central

    The consequences of student loan default can be devastating to your borrowers. Do you know how to educate them about ways to rehabilitate their loans after default?


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