As you may know, more than 7 million students and their families nationwide, including 177,000 in Massachusetts, rely on Subsidized Stafford Loans to help pay for college. Unless Congress acts soon, the interest rate on these loans is set to double on July 1.
There is no question that it is irresponsible and reckless to let the rate double, especially at a time when college costs are skyrocketing and our economy is still recovering.
That's why I introduced the Stop the Rate Hike Act of 2012 to keep the current interest rate in place for another year. My bill is fully paid for by ending just a single tax subsidy for Big Oil. House Republicans jammed through their own one year fix that is paid for by cutting funds to preventive health care. Clearly, this is not a serious attempt to keep student loan interest rates down.
Last week, I visited with students at Middlesex Community College in Bedford and Endicott College in Beverly to discuss the ongoing congressional debate on student loan interest rates. I invited students to sign a "Wall of Debt" to share their concerns about the cost of college and student loan debt.
If you are a student, parent, or grandparent concerned about the rising cost of college, please visit my Facebook page or my website and add your name to the virtual "Wall of Debt." I will be compiling all of the stories that have been shared with me and plan to present the "Wall of Debt" on the House floor in the coming days.
Americans across this country deserve a real effort to put our middle class families and students first. Rest assured that in the weeks and months ahead, I will continue fighting to make college more accessible and affordable for all who wish to attend.
John F. Tierney
Member of Congress