Default rates on government-guaranteed student loans exceed 30 percent at 60 schools and colleges in the District, Maryland and Virginia, a study by state lawmakers' groups reported yesterday.

The Dickinson Business School and Smith Business School -- two for-profit career training schools in downtown Washington -- had the highest default rates in the area for institutions with more than $1 million in defaults.

At Dickinson, which until recently was known as Brookwein College, 73 percent of money due from former students was in default. At Smith the default rate was 66 percent.

Howard University had the area's largest amount of money disbursed to loan defaulters: $18.1 million, with a default rate of 30.1 percent.

Other four-year schools with high default rates in the District were Strayer College, 46.7 percent; Southeastern University, 41.9 percent, and the University of the District of Columbia, 34 percent.

In Maryland, the Baltimore and Dundalk Community Colleges had default rates exceeding 40 percent. The study reported a default rate of 44.5 percent for Morgan State University in Baltimore and 38.6 percent for Bowie State College in Prince George's County.

The study was conducted by the Federal Funds Information project of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors' Association.

The report is the first nationwide compilation of school-by-school data on defaults since the program began in 1965.

Defaults have risen rapidly in recent years, reaching $5.6 billion owed to the federal government as of Sept. 30, 1986. The nationwide default rate has risen to 12.1 percent of loans on which money is due.

The Senate trade bill, now in conference with the House, would allow some loan guaranty agencies to bar participation of schools with default rates of more than 25 percent.

Stephen Smith, the director of the Smith Business School, 1010 Vermont Ave. NW, said such a cutoff would be "unfair." "Why not go after the students who haven't paid," he said, "rather than penalizing new students."

Overall, the state loan guaranty agency for the District, the Higher Education Assistance Foundation, has a 21 percent default rate, the second-highest in the country after Arizona, 21.9 percent.

The study indicated that nationwide the highest default rates are in for-profit proprietary trade schools, community colleges, and historically black colleges. Philip Rever, head of the foundation's Washington office, said those schools take many "at risk" students "with a history of poor performance in {high} school and very little likelihood of economic or academic success, but they are willing to give them a chance." The high default rates, he said, are "a cost of opportunity."

But Undersecretary of Education Bruce Carnes replied in an interview, "Being at risk is not a license to steal . . . I don't think just because you are poor or black or Hispanic, you are morally deficient. I'd never make that statement. It borders on the racist."

The study said the lowest default rates tend to be in the most selective four-year colleges and graduate programs, such as medicine and law.END NOTES