The Cohort Default Rate Guide (Guide) is a comprehensive publication that the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) designed to present information on cohort default rates. This Guide will help schools participating in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and also assist schools in managing their Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans. As of September 2020 this Guide has been updated.
The information found in this Guide does not supersede or alter any regulatory or statutory requirements that are in effect. If the information in this Guide conflicts with the regulations or statute, the regulations and/or statute take precedence. The legislation authorizing the FFEL and Direct Loan programs can be found in Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended. The regulations for cohort default rates are primarily in Subpart N of Section 668 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).