The Stafford Student Loan Program

T-HRD-90-13: Published: Feb 20, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 20, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the Stafford Student Loan Program, specifically: (1) how the program works; (2) the growth in loans guaranteed and defaulted; and (3) recent legislative and regulatory changes. GAO found that: (1) Stafford loans were low-interest loans made on the basis of financial need; (2) the program accounted for about 54 percent of the student aid provided by the Department of Education; and (3) Education reinsured guaranty agencies for 100 percent of defaulted loans, and made interest payments to lenders for borrowers still in school. GAO also found that: (1) between 1983 and 1989, program loans grew from about $7 billion to over $12 billion annually; (2) defaults increased over 338 percent during the same period; (3) the default rate for private schools was significantly higher than for other schools that participated in the Stafford program; and (4) Education and Congress have taken action to standardize schools' policies on refunding tuition and fees, and deny loans to schools with default rates over 30 percent.

Feb 22, 2018

Feb 7, 2018

Jan 23, 2018

Dec 18, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

Sep 14, 2017

Sep 13, 2017

Jul 18, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here