Student Spotlight

Brandman Announces 2.3% Student Loan Default Rate

September 27, 2011 by Social Team

Low Student Loan Default Rate highlight University’s success

IRVINE, Calif. (September 27, 2011) – Brandman University, a private, regionally accredited, non-profit higher education institution serving working professionals, today announced a federal student loan default rate of 2.3 percent.  Brandman’s loan default rate is significantly below the national average of 8.8 percent,* surpassing the outcomes of most public, private, non-profit and for-profit institutions.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released FY 2009 student loan default rates on September 13, reporting a national upward trend.  As the recession took hold and unemployment continues to rise, the DOE reports an average loan default rate of 8.8 percent, the highest since 1997.  An average rate of 15 percent at for-profit institutions was reported, up from 11.6 percent last year; 7.2 percent for public institutions, up from 6 percent the prior year; and 4.6 percent at private institutions, up from 4 percent.

This is the first year the DOE has calculated a rate for Brandman University, a part of the Chapman University System, independently from Chapman University in Orange, CA.  In past years, the institutions had been combined.  As a stand-alone institution, Brandman’s 2.3 percent rate falls significantly below the national average for all institutional types and is especially low given Brandman’s mission of educating non-traditional students.   Other non-traditional universities registered significantly higher than Brandman, such as the University of Phoenix with a default rate of 18.8 percent and Kaplan University at 17.7 percent.*

Clearly, Brandman demonstrates that a high-quality education is possible for working adults and may provide significant long-term financial benefits in today’s competitive work environment.  “The student loan default rate is a surprisingly accurate gauge of the value of a school’s education.  When choosing a college, students should look for a school with a low default rate because it will indicate that students graduate and that the financial benefit of the education more than offsets the cost of the education,” said Gary Brahm, Chancellor of Brandman University.  “On the contrary, a high default rate and low graduation rate usually go hand-in-hand.  A student who doesn’t graduate will not have the means to pay back their student loans.  Defaulting on student loans is devastating to a person and their family.”

A recent examination has shown that over the past 4 years, a steady average of 70 percent of Brandman University undergraduate students will graduate within six years.**  When asked how Brandman has consistently achieved such a high graduation rate, Brahm states, “Our mission is to support student success.  As a non-profit, we invest more in instruction, academic support and student services and do everything we can to ensure that our students will graduate.”

Established in 1958 to serve members of the U.S. military at El Toro Marine Air Station in Orange County, CA, Brandman University was previously known as Chapman University College.  Distinguished alumni include two California Teachers of the Year, one who went on to become the National Teacher of the Year; the 2009 California Educator of the Year; 2007 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year; a national bestselling author; Fulbright Scholar; national news correspondent; two members of the US House of Representatives; several CEOs, chiefs of police and fire chiefs; and 16 high commanding military officers.

By blending Chapman University’s heritage of academic excellence with specialized student services and flexible curriculum delivery, Brandman is a highly regarded option for working professionals and community college transfers seeking meaningful degrees that have a reputation for quality.  The university also provides an affordable private education alternative for students unable to obtain the classes they need to graduate in state university systems and public institutions.


About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University ( is one of California’s oldest, most prestigious private universities and is home to more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students at its campus in Orange, California.

*The two-year “cohort” default rate represents the proportion of federal loan borrowers who entered repayment between October 2008 and September 2009 and had defaulted on their loans by the end of September 2010. More information can be found


About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers 50+ undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. Brandman serves 12,000 students annually with programs available online and at 26 campuses throughout California and Washington. The university’s online programs consistently rank among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

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