Capella Clarifies the Realities Behind Student Debt

October 29, 2012

In response to the Star Tribune’s Oct. 22 story “Defaulting on Loans Trending on Campus,” Capella University’s President Scott Kinney sent the letter below to the Star Tribune. The letter ran in Sunday’s Opinion section.

Capella Education Company has also drafted a policy paper on student debt that you can reference in a previous blog post I did here.


Letter of the Day (Oct. 28): Student Loan Debts

An Oct. 22 article about students defaulting on loans took an important look at a critical issue (“Defaulting on loans trending on campus“). Unfortunately, it left out several key pieces of information as it relates to Capella University.

For example, the article states that Capella and another for-profit school, Rasmussen College, have more students in default than do all of the private schools in Minnesota combined. What it doesn’t mention is that Capella, as a national, online university, has students from all 50 states and 59 other countries and a student population that is much larger than almost all other Minnesota colleges and universities — more than 36,000 students as of June 30.

In an article that focused on Minnesota-based students, it was misleading not to make this point clear.

Capella’s most recent three-year student loan cohort default rate, as published by the U. S. Department of Education, is just 9.7 percent. Not only is that below the average default rate of other for-profit schools, it’s also below the national average of more than 13 percent for all colleges and universities.

Capella is proud to be a Minnesota-based institution, committed to addressing the college affordability challenge. We regularly put forward specific policy solutions to address the student loan crisis at


SCOTT KINNEY, Minneapolis

The writer is the president of Capella University.

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