Student Loan Interest Rates: The Effort to Keep Education Costs Down

By Nolan DiConti/Special Report Intern

With the federal loan interest rates set to double on July 1st, college students across the United States are taking action. At the moment, interest rates are at a fixed rate of 3.4%, but will double to 6.8% if Congress is unable to reach a compromise. With the rising costs of college tuition every year, 7.4 million college students resort to borrowing from the federal government. But even with a low interest rate, nationwide student debt exceeds $1 trillion and an average student graduates with $27,250 of debt. College students are at the forefront of the #DontDoubleMyRate campaign, advocating for Congress to reach a compromise. We spoke with one such group of students, Georgetown University Student Association, who are helping lead this campaign.  

Both parties have proposed legislation, but each proposal has been unsuccessful. House Republicans passed a student loan bill that would not establish a fixed interest rate by law, but instead allow interest rates to fluctuate depending on the government’s cost of borrowing. The House Republican plan, however, failed to reach the 60 votes it needed to pass in the Senate, and faced veto threats from President Obama if it made it to the White House. The Senate Democrats’ plan would have kept interest rates at their current rates for another two years, but failed to reach the needed 60 votes as well.

But with no agreement in Washington, the Georgetown University Student Association has been taking their own initiative

Registered voters are in almost complete agreement about student loan rates. Public Policy Polling released a new poll showing more than 4 out of 5 voters want to keep interest rates where they are or lower them. As the clock winds down, talks of a bipartisan bill in the Senate has been coming up and appears to be gaining popularity from lawmakers. Certainly a tremendous feat for the #DontDoubleMyRate campaign.

 

Lynn's oldest student wins seat at debate

Palm Beach Post


by ekleinberg


Lynn's oldest student wins seat at debate


When Jack Slotnick told Lynn University administrators he wanted to go back to college at age 84, for a degree in psychology, the natural question was “why.”


“My wife (of 38 years) won’t close the closet doors,” he recalled saying. “I want to find out why.”


That was good enough for them. Three years ago, he became Lynn’s oldest freshman. Now, at 86 — 87 in four weeks — he’s the school’s oldest graduate student.


And on Monday morning, he held a ticket to Monday night’s presidential debate. No less than university president Kevin Ross gave up his own ticket for Slotnick.


With a shock of white hair and a twinkle in his eye, the World War II veteran from Lake Worth held court with students who’d won a lottery for the few student tickets available.


He said he has no preverence in the debate; he said the first one he remembers is the one Franklin Roosevelt had over the Depression-era recovery. It’s there in the history books.


After serving in Europe in the war, Slotnick said, he came back to Brooklyn and attended night school for three years. But his job in vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers meant a lot of travel and he never got his degree.


He moved to South Florida about 15 years ago. He says he passed Lynn about a hundred times, but one day he found himself on Butts Road, the street named for local bean farmers who once owned the area where the Town Center mall now stands. Up the road: Lynn.


He recalled thinking, “I’m on Butts Road. There’s no more ‘buts.’”


Slotnick said his fellow students — he won’t “diss” them by calling them “kids” — have adopted him and he’s enjoying his pursuit.


“Life is never over until it’s over,” he said. “Every single day you don’t learn something, and every single day you don’t laugh about something, you’ve wasted it.”


 

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