Higher Education
Student-loan defaults were on rise in 2016

A new analysis of federal student loans reveals that the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the past year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs.

The Consumer Federation of America released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 percent increase in defaults from a year earlier. The consumer watchdog used the latest data from the Education Department, which manages $1.3 trillion in federal student debt owed by 42.4 million Americans.

—Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

$9 billion

President Trump’s proposed cut in Education Department funding in 2018, a 13.5 percent reduction from the current level.