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ST LOUIS - If Congress takes no action, interest rates will double on July 1st from 3.4% to 6.8% for subsidized Stafford loans, which more than 7 million college students rely on to attend school. Today, MoPIRG joined student organizations and consumer groups across the country in reacting to the President’s budget, calling on Congress to extend the low interest rate and give students time to weigh in on more comprehensive reform.
Last year, Congress temporarily extended the low rate for one year, which saved close to 8 million students $1,000 per loan borrowed. Student leaders, working in coalition with many student advocacy groups and education groups led the charge to make sure that Congress didn’t double our rates last year. With the deadline looming once again, we are calling on these same decision makers to step up again this year.
Yesterday, the President released a budget that included a proposal for preventing the student loan interest rate from doubling this July 1st.
“Unfortunately, the President’s proposal lowers interest rates now by charging more from student borrowers down the road,” said Alec Sprague, MoPIRG field organizer, “With less than three months before the interest rate is set to double, we need more time to work with Congress and the President to make sure any comprehensive reform is beneficial to students today and tomorrow.”
MoPIRG joins student leaders’ call for Congress to extend the low 3.4% interest rate for a short period to give them more time to work with lawmakers in developing a plan that will actually benefit students both now and in the future.
“By choosing to get educated and go to college, we students have made the choice to invest in our future, and in the future of our country” Said Kristin McGuire, a student at Saint Louis University. “It only makes sense that federal student loan policy should make the same investment in us.”
Balancing low rates now on the backs of students down the road isn’t a victory – we need Congress and the President to extend the low interest rate to give students the chance to weigh in on a long-term solution that will actually help them achieve their college degree.
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