But others complain that the Department of Education's analysis was too easy on colleges. The analysis didn't examine private student loans, and so may give students an overly optimistic view of how little typical students borrow and how much they are able to repay. In addition, the government's standard for repayment—a single dollar of principal in a year—is "very generous" to colleges, says Sarah Flanagan, vice president for government relations at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, a group of private non-profit universities.
The government says it will consider suggestions for improving the loan repayment data. The Department of Education has already said it will make tweaks to account for borrowers who go on to graduate school or take advantage of public service forgiveness programs. When the number crunchers make those adjustments, some schools showing low repayment rates now may jump up in future lists.
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