You may have heard that without Congressional action, interest rates on federal student loans are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1, 2012. When I met with students at UW-La Crosse this week, 71 percent of them who have student loans, they expressed their concerns and frustration. The students were worried not only about securing a job after graduation but paying back the average of $25,397 that Wisconsin students have in student loan debt.
If interest rates for students double, more than 163,000 student borrowers across Wisconsin will see their debt load increase $1000 each year they are in school. Instead of building more hurdles for young people to get the education and skills they need to succeed, Congress needs to take immediate steps to keep students in the classroom and interest rates low.
Today more than ever, our students have to carry a higher debt to finance their education and develop skills they need to be competitive in the global economy. These young adults not only better themselves but can provide for their families and strengthen our economy. I will continue to do everything I can to help Congress find a bipartisan resolution to this issue so that we can continue to support the future leaders and innovators of tomorrow.