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Kuster: Congress Must Work Together to Prevent Student Loan Rate-Hike

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Location: Claremont, NH

Reinforcing her commitment to making college more affordable for students and middle class New Hampshire families, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today called on Congress to prevent a doubling of the student loan interest rate during a roundtable with students and staff at River Valley Community College in Claremont. If Congress fails to act, the fixed interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st, making it harder for students and middle class families in New Hampshire and across the country to afford higher education.

"A college education is one of the surest pathways to the middle class," Kuster said. "At a time when college has never been more important or expensive, the last thing Congress should do is make it even harder for students at schools like River Valley Community College to pay for their education. With the interest rate on student loans set to double in just over a month, members of both parties need to come together and prevent this harmful rate-hike from taking effect."

In recent years, total student loan debt nationwide has swelled to more than $1 trillion. According to a recent study, New Hampshire students graduate college with an average debt of over $30,000, the highest debt burden of any state in the country. At River Valley Community College, the average student loan debt of graduates is $15,000.

"We appreciate Congresswoman Kuster's focus on River Valley Community College, and on the essential role New Hampshire's community colleges are playing across the state to provide affordable access to high quality education and training," added Ron Rioux, interim President of River Valley Community College. "Affordability is a key priority of the community colleges as we work to strengthen the state's skilled workforce and enhance education-to-career pathways for students. I am pleased that Congresswoman Kuster will have the opportunity to hear directly from our students, and thank her for her visit to the college."

In April, Kuster cosponsored the College Cost Reduction Act, common sense legislation that would prevent student loan rates from doubling in July and extend the current rate for two years. Since then, she has held roundtables at Nashua Community College (NCC) and Plymouth State University (PSU) to hear directly from students about how they would be impacted by a doubling of the student loan interest rate.king it harder for students and middle class families in New Hampshire and across the country to afford higher education.

"A college education is one of the surest pathways to the middle class," Kuster said. "At a time when college has never been more important or expensive, the last thing Congress should do is make it even harder for students at schools like River Valley Community College to pay for their education. With the interest rate on student loans set to double in just over a month, members of both parties need to come together and prevent this harmful rate-hike from taking effect."

In recent years, total student loan debt nationwide has swelled to more than $1 trillion. According to a recent study, New Hampshire students graduate college with an average debt of over $30,000, the highest debt burden of any state in the country. At River Valley Community College, the average student loan debt of graduates is $15,000.

"We appreciate Congresswoman Kuster's focus on River Valley Community College, and on the essential role New Hampshire's community colleges are playing across the state to provide affordable access to high quality education and training," added Ron Rioux, interim President of River Valley Community College. "Affordability is a key priority of the community colleges as we work to strengthen the state's skilled workforce and enhance education-to-career pathways for students. I am pleased that Congresswoman Kuster will have the opportunity to hear directly from our students, and thank her for her visit to the college."

In April, Kuster cosponsored the College Cost Reduction Act, common sense legislation that would prevent student loan rates from doubling in July and extend the current rate for two years. Since then, she has held roundtables at Nashua Community College (NCC) and Plymouth State University (PSU) to hear directly from students about how they would be impacted by a doubling of the student loan interest rate.


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