Young Americans will find themselves at a disadvantage once again when it comes to navigating the increasing cost of college and the burden of student debt. In July, the interest rates for subsidized Stafford student loans are set to increase from 3.4% to 6.8%. According to the White House’s estimation, that means 7.4 million students will accumulate an additional $1,000 in debt. That’s a significant jump, especially considering the high unemployment rate among millennials. Congress, however, has the power to pass legislation to prevent federal Stafford loans from doubling their interest rates on July 1. The President’s budget request for next year includes money to extend the cut for one year, if approved by Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans agree the interest rates should not increase, but a feature in The New York Times shows they disagree over how to pay for the subsidized rate.
President Obama made the issue a priority this week and traveled to campuses in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa to discuss his Administration’s plan for making higher education affordable. He’s calling on students to put pressure on Congress and express their needs for lowered interest rates. “Don’t Double My Rate” has become a popular slogan this week, with social media users featuring the phrase in hashtags and status updates as they share their stories of how they will be affected by the increased interest rate.
College should be affordable and should be available to all interested youth, not just the privileged. Participate in the movement with other students from around the country and urge Congress to pass legislation before the rates double in July.