might be related to greater academic achievement on the part of students who attended for more semester hours.
At the extremes, however, the general relationship breaks down. Borrowers who take more than 20 hours in a semester have a higher default rate than some groups who attend for fewer hours. For borrowers who take a high number of hours, there may be some threshold of hours beyond which borrowers tend to have academic or financial problems that lead to withdrawal and non- payment. But this is unlikely, since borrowers who take 20 or more hours actually have a much higher graduation rate than other borrowers. More research will be needed to uncover the factors behind this relationship.
On the low end, borrowers who take less than 9 hours in a semester have a lower default rate than those in the “9 to 11 hour” and “12 to 14 hour” categories. The two lowest hour categories are dominated by individuals who transferred from other colleges but who did not graduate from TAMU (at least yet). Again, perhaps more research will show what makes these borrowers successful in repaying students loans.
Highest Number of Semester Hours
1 to 8 9 to 11 12 to 14 15 to 17 18 to 20 21 or more Missing All Undergraduates
Number of Summer Semesters Attended
Borrowers who did not attend college during any summer semester had a default rate of 8.9 percent. Borrowers who attended during two summer semesters had the lowest rate with 2.7 percent. In part, the table below shows something similar to the table describing the number of semesters that borrowers attend TAMU before departing: a low number of semesters indicates that the borrowers left prematurely and borrowers who leave early tend to default at higher rates. However, the following table also likely indicates other relationships, as is hinted at by the fact that the default rates start increasing after the two (2) summer semester category. As it turns out, the groups with higher numbers of summer semesters (3, 4 & 5) have increasingly higher proportions of readmitted students, who tend to have higher default rates.
The relationship is relatively weak but statistically significant.