HPU’s student loan default rate is substantially
lower than the national average, which was recorded as the lowest
to date at 5.4 percent. HPU is also the lowest among schools
in Hawai‘i that have 55 or more borrowers in repayment.
The Hawai‘i default rate average was 5.5 percent.
Hawai‘i Pacific’s low rate is a significant achievement,
especially since it comes at the end of a 10-year period of tremendous
loan growth,” said Walter Fleming, associate vice president
of Student Support Services. “Our students are meeting
their responsibilities to repay their loans. This indicates
that they are doing whatever is necessary to repay their loans
Fleming credits much of the success to Carol Hutaff, director
of Student Loans, and the default management program she
implemented, which involves aggressive follow-up with students
country, personal and credit counseling, flexible repayment
schedules, and customized repayment plans.
Hutaff consider that her most important contribution has
been the ability to take away the fear students have in communicating
with their lenders. “Once that fear is dissolved, students
are better able to speak to their lenders and guarantors about
the different options available to them,” Hutaff said. “Communication
The current interest rates on federal Stafford loans are
now at an all-time low of 3.42 percent, making loan payments
affordable than ever. As recently as three years ago, the
interest rate was more than its cap at 8.25 percent. The
rate on Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) has
dropped to 4.22 percent—also the lowest rate ever.
The Higher Education Act of 1992 mandates that schools with
excessive default rates may be dropped from one or more
aid program. Schools with default rates of 25 percent or
greater for three consecutive years face loss of eligibility
in the loan
and Pell Grant program. Schools with a default rate greater
than 40 percent for one year face immediate loss of eligibility
the loan programs.