On the heels of the release of the Republican's fiscal year 2013 budget, which reduces the amount of available funding for post-secondary education, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass offered anamendment today which will provide relief to college students by preventing Stafford Loan interest rates from doubling in July.
Without action from Bass' amendment, the interest rate on these need-based federal loans will increase to 6.8 percent on July 1 and lead to a $2,800 average increase in college borrowing costs for more than 7 million students.
"Our nation's students are facing unprecedented crippling debt before they even enter the workforce," said Rep. Bass. "There's no reason that if advancing one's education is the answer for ensuring success within our country students should not have to leave college with as much debt as a mortgage would cost. With this amendment I hope to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make college affordability a top priority. Congress must make post-secondary education attainable for every student in America no matter their family's economic status."
Last month, after the release of President Barack Obama's budget, which details his Administration's strategy for tackling college affordability, Rep. Bass launched the national "Sound off on Student Debt" survey to gather feedback from students around the country about the challenges and pitfalls they face with education-related debt. Preliminary results show that nearly 72 percent of respondents currently have loans that are currently accumulating interest and a majority of those surveyed could benefit from having lower monthly payments. In order to address some of these concerns, Rep. Bass will host a town hall meeting and workshop for education loan borrowers in Los Angeles to provide a medium for students to obtain financial and judicial assistance with their current loans.
Students and others who are struggling with student-related debt are invited to take the survey athttp://KarenBass.House.Gov/StudentDebt. Information obtained from the survey will assist Rep. Bass in determining additional solutions to quickly reduce student loan debt.