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VIDEO: In Weekly Address, Obama Urges Congress to Keep Student Loan Rates Low
President Obama called on Congress over the weekend to prevent the interest rate on some federal student loans from doubling this July, the beginning of a week-long effort by the White House to raise awareness of the looming issue.
“You see, if Congress doesn’t act, on July 1 interest rates on some student loans will double,” Obama said in his weekly video address. “Nearly seven and half million students will end up owing more on their loan payments. That would be a tremendous blow. And it’s completely preventable.”
The president will visit three college campuses early this week—the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of Iowa—to discuss the student loan issue.
Interest rates on Stafford loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1 without Congressional action. Without a deal, the higher rates would impact 7.4 million borrowers who could pay thousands of extra dollars in payments.
“For some time now, I’ve been calling on Congress to take steps to make higher education more affordable – to prevent these interest rates from doubling, to extend the tuition tax credit that has saved middle-class families millions of dollars, and to double the number of work-study jobs over the next five years,” Obama said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed the president’s message in a subsequent statement over the weekend.
“A college education is the single best investment an individual can make in themselves, a parent can make in their child, and a nation can make in its citizens,” she said. “In this time of economic hardship, we should be helping make college more affordable, not putting it further out of reach.”
Brian Stewart is the communications manager at Campus Progress.
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