Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's First District released the following statement today calling on Congress to act to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1.
"This week marks the beginning of graduation season for thousands of Clark County School District seniors. Over the summer, they will make critical financial decisions and, since most American students cannot pay for tuition out of pocket, many will take out a federal loan to help pay for college in the Fall.
"On average, Nevada students will borrow $22,820 by the time they graduate with a degree. Although this may seem like a staggering amount, the sad reality is that compared to the rest of the nation, Nevada's average is on the low end of the scale. The typical American student graduates with a bachelor's degree and approximately $27,000 in debt. If Congress fails to act by July 1, interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, adding an additional burden of $1,000 a year in loan costs for over 7 million students.
"While the debt facing Nevada's college students is lower than in most states, it is still unacceptably high. As a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 34 years, I have had the honor to teach the best and brightest of our state and the opportunity to see first-hand their success. During my tenure, college tuition skyrocketed 1,120%, forcing many promising students to drop out because they could no longer afford the cost of an education.
"To continue being the leader of the global economy, we must solve this problem. Higher education is vital to the success of our nation's young adults; and in order to attract good jobs of tomorrow to Nevada, we must have an educated workforce that is prepared to get the job done.
"That is why I have continued to fight on behalf of Nevada's students and have joined with almost 90 of my colleagues to cosponsor a bill that would keep the interest rate on Stafford loans at 3.4% for the next two years. We must do more to address the affordability of college for the long-term, but this legislation is the first step in preventing students from making the hard choice between their educational aspirations and financial realities."