Local college students concerned about interest rate hike - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Local college students concerned about interest rate hike

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Rising student loan interest rates have students concerned about the cost of a college education. Interest rates for the federally-backed Stafford student loan program doubled from 3.4 to 9.8 percent on Monday.

When Devonte McCoy received his high school diploma he was excited about his future.

"As soon as I graduated and walked across the stage, it's like, man, I'm about to start my dream. I'm about to start life," McCoy said.

But Devonte's excitement turned to worry when he learned interest rates for Stafford student loans had doubled. He scoured the internet trying to find out how much more a film degree at Full Sail University will eventually cost him.

"It hit me. It hit me fast because I'm about to get ready to start school soon in a matter of weeks," McCoy said.

Devonte is not alone.

Georgia State senior Gabriel Pressman is worried about what the rate hike will eventually cost him.

"Yeah, I mean, I think it's absurd that the students are going to have to pay the price because Congress can't get anything passed," Pressman said.

Mary Kusler is the head of the lobbying arm of the National Education Association.

"We don't believe that what's going on in Washington, D.C., should balance the deficit on the backs of students trying to achieve higher education," said Kusler.

The teachers union is in town for its 151st assembly. They're lobbying Congress to keep the Stafford interest rate at 3.4 percent until a budget deal can be made.

Kusler Says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is efforting a vote.

"To bring this for a vote, this one year extension, and it would be retroactive and that would hopefully give Congress the time they need to get a full fix for this," Kusler said.

The increased interest rate for Stafford student loans will affect about 25 percent of all federal borrowers, costing them an average $2,600 in costs per student.

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