Statement from The Education Trust on the interest-rate extension for federally backed student loans

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Publication date: 
June 29 2012

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2012) — Today, Congress did the right thing by protecting low interest rates on college loans for more than 7 million students already struggling to afford higher education and learn their way into the middle class.

While it took them too long to reach a bipartisan agreement, federal lawmakers finally put aside political theatrics in order to strengthen the U.S. economy, which needs millions more college-educated workers than we’re currently producing. The compromise, attached to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, will prevent interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans from doubling — a huge victory for the students and their families and allies who called on Capitol Hill to act.

But as critical as this protection is, it is only in effect for 12 months. As tuitions continue to skyrocket, Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and pass long-term protections now for programs like Stafford Loans and Pell Grants — programs that are keeping the doors to college open for millions of Americans. To become the nation we aspire to be, and in fact must be, we need to make college-going possible for all hard-working students, not just a fortunate few.

# # #