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The number of college students defaulting on their federal student loans is climbing, and those who attend for-profit schools remain the most likely group to default, according to new government stats released Monday.

For the year ended Sept. 30, 2008, 7% of federal student loan borrowers defaulted within two years of beginning repayment, up from 6.7% the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The default rate for students at for-profit schools rose to 11.6% from 11% over the same period.

Those default rates are used to determine which schools will remain eligible to participate in student aid programs.

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The measures now in use “fall far short of capturing the full range of defaults or distressed borrowers,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, an advocacy group in Oakland, Calif.

“Right now, there’s no information that tells us whether career education programs are delivering quality training for jobs,” she said.

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