Under current rules, colleges with federal student loan default rates over 25 percent for three straight years can be disqualified from taxpayer-supported student-aid programs, but experts argued that colleges were manipulating the two-year figures. So, starting in 2012, colleges will be judged on how many students default within three years of starting repayment, reports the Associated Press -- though the new threshold default rate for penalties will be 30 percent instead of 25 percent. Nearly 12 percent of borrowers who began repayment in the 2007 fiscal year defaulted within three years—up from 9.2 percent for 2006. But at commercial colleges,...

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