If you have student loan debt or follow the politics of it, you're probably familiar with this deadline: On July 1, if Congress does nothing, the interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans will double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. We absolutely don't want this to happen, since it would mean thousands of extra dollars of debt for many already low-income borrowers. Numerous proposals to address the looming rate doubling are being debated in Congress, and both sides of the aisle have already seen one bill each get voted down.
Today (Friday), President Obama will join college students at a White House event launching a new push to keep student loan rates from doubling in July. Among the various plans offered, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) plan is the most affordable for students, while the Republican plan tries to “make money” off of students using fluctuating “market rates.”
Facing a barrage of challenges from AFT President Randi Weingarten and leaders of the United States Student Association (USAA), Sallie Mae CEO John Remondi today agreed to meet for talks on student loan debt.
A 2007 Boston Globe report on college admissions data that has been making the rounds on Twitter lately reveals that “about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards,” most of whom “are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators and politicians topping the list.”
It may not always be obvious, but the union movement and progressive student activists share the same core values when it comes to fighting for social and economic justice for all people. Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addressed more than 1,200 young activists at the 8th annual Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, D.C.:
A little more than a day before the nation’s highway and transit projects would lose funding—threatening nearly 2 million jobs—and student loan interest rates were set to double, Congress acted.
The House (373-52) and Senate (74-19) this afternoon passed the two-year, $120 million Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 that will protect more than 2 million jobs and expand a loan guarantee program that could create an additional 1 million jobs (mostly in the construction sector). The bill also keeps interest rates for college students on subsidized Stafford Loans at 3.4 percent. They were set to double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.
Most recent young college graduates are carrying a heavy debt load for their education, and they face a harder time paying it off because their wages have plummeted as well—part of a decade-long decline, according to a new Economic Snapshot from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
As college tuition steadily increases by an average of about 8 percent each year, more and more students and their families rely on student loans to help pay the escalating costs of obtaining a college degree. One in three college students takes out federal subsidized Stafford Loans when scholarships, grants and part-time jobs just aren’t enough to fund higher education.
Interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans are set to double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, unless Congress acts. Today, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic push to keep the rates at their current level—but the young people whose families and futures will be directly impacted by a rate hike are making sure their voices are heard on this critical issue.
"For Most Graduates, a Grueling Job Hunt Awaits," The Wall Street Journal writes today. Over the weekend, the New York Times sounded the alarm about employers' growing use of unpaid internships in fields that typically have never exploited free labor.