Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) will travel with President Obama tomorrow to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the President makes his push to Congress to extend current interest rates on a federal loan program for low- and middle-income undergraduate students. Without the extension more than 7 million borrowers with Stafford student loans will see their interest rates double on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, which could cost thousands of dollars over time.
"Students and recent college graduates are already having a tough time with skyrocketing tuition and an underperforming job market," said Butterfield, a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, a bill to extend the reduced interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford Loans. "Allowing the current interest rates to expire would burden students with additional debt, prolong their ability to kick start their careers, and send the message that it is more important to cut taxes for the wealthy than educational expenses for our young people."
In 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act which included the provision to reduce the fixed rate on subsidized Stafford student loans for undergraduate students over a four year period, lifting the weight on thousands of students and their families.
A long-time advocate for educational access, Butterfield introduced H.R. 3483, the Veteran's Education Equity Act, to reward equal educational benefits to veterans whether they choose to attend a private or public institution of higher learning. The bill would change an inequity in existing law which allots more education funds to veterans enrolled in private colleges than those in public institutions.