Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Kentucky has the fourth-highest rate of student loan defaults in the nation. A total of 14.3 percent of students who take out student loans for college are unable to pay it back. West Virginia ranks number one in student loan defaults. So, what's going on? Some study in fields where a degree doesn't translate into a good paying job that allows them to pay back the debt. If you pursue some esoteric major like medieval European history, you might be personally enriched, but you may have a difficult time finding a job. Another reason for Kentucky's high default rate is a depressed economy in some parts of the state. Kentucky’s worst-performing school regarding loan repayment is Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College where nearly a third of borrowers couldn’t pay back their loans.