Congressman Jared Polis applauded President Obama for his leadership in keeping higher education affordable and for his call to Congress to prevent federal student loan interest rates from rising from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The president will visit the University of Colorado, Boulder today to make the case for keeping higher education affordable. Polis is a cosponsor of legislation that would extend the lower student loan interest rate.
"On a bipartisan basis, Congress should act on President Obama's call to keep student loan interest rates low so that more families and students can achieve the dream of a college education," said Polis. "Opponents of keeping student loan rates low are dumping an additional $1,000 of debt on the backs of more than 160,000 Colorado college students every year even as they just voted for $46 billion in new tax breaks for the wealthy that aren't paid for and that will increase the budget deficit."
House Republicans have already voted this year in the Ryan budget to slash college aid for more than 9 million students -- cutting the maximum Pell Grant below current-law levels and eliminating grants for 400,000 students in 2013 alone. Eliminating or reducing Pell grants will force students to take out additional loans to pay their tuition, leaving them with more debt at the higher interest rate.
Polis added, "If we want to strengthen our economy and ensure that young people have the opportunity to work hard and succeed, we shouldn't be gutting student aid and raising college loan interest rates. It's becoming harder and harder for families and students to afford college and keeping student loan interest rates low is more important than ever.