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Another sign of America’s struggling economy revealed itself yesterday when the U.S. Department of Education released figures indicating that the percentage of people defaulting on college loans rose from 7.0 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009. The for-profit sector of higher education–which has come under scrutiny for aggressive recruiting tactics in low-income areas–accounts for a disproportionate number of the defaults. Of 3.6 million loans issued, just under 9 percent, or 320,000, were defaulted on, raising further concerns about the spiraling costs of higher education and the general public’s knowledge of the potential financial burden.

In an effort to raise awareness and create transparency, the Department also released a list that details college tuition rates and how quickly they’re increasing, and says it will soon disclose more data, such as gainful employment figures.

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Nick Pandolfo writes for The Hechinger Report. A native of New York City, he majored in education at Eugene Lang College and later taught ESL for four years in New York, China and South Korea. Before entering...

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