Total Number of Hours Taken at TAMU
Statistically significant, the Total Number of Hours Taken variable suggests that the further a borrower progresses in college, the less is the likelihood of default. Moving through the table from the “11 to 30 hours” group to the “111-130 hours” category, the default rate falls steadily from 14.2 percent to 1.9 percent.
Considering the extreme categories, however, the table reflects a more complex relationship. The two groups with the fewest total hours have default rates that are lower than the 11-30 hour group, thereby breaking the pattern of decreasing rates that holds for the majority of the table rows. As it turns out, these two groups have a much higher than average proportion of students who transfer to Texas A&M but who do not graduate from there.
On the other extreme, default rates begin to increase again after having declined through the 130 hour category. Further investigation shows that the two categories with the highest number of total hours have larger than average percentages of borrowers who attended the Liberal Arts College, which has a higher than average default rate. In fact, the default rate for Liberal Arts students who take a total of 151 hours or more is 12 percent -- 2-1/2 times the average rate in this study. A similar problem appears to exist for borrowers who take more than 150 total hours in the Architecture College. Interestingly, the Liberal Arts and Architecture students who took 150 hours or more and had high default rates also had higher than average graduation rates. It is unclear why these associations exist, so more research could be helpful.
Some majors clearly have higher default rates than other majors. For example, borrowers who major in Electrical Engineering have a 6.2 percent default rate, whereas borrowers who major in Mechanical Engineering have a 3.8 percent default rate. This is just one of many possible comparisons. The top ten admission majors in frequency of occurrence are listed below
Total Number of Hours Taken
0 1-10 11-30 31-60 61-80 81-110 111-130 131-150 151 or more All Undergraduates