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Reed, URI Students Rally to Block College Loan Rate Hikes

Senator Jack Reed wants to prevent student loans rates doubling on 36,000 Rhode Island college students in July.

As more college students struggle with rising college costs and the national student debt burden surpasses $1 trillion for the first time in U.S. history, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is working to make student loans more affordable and help families pay for college. 

On Tuesday, April 3 at 11 a.m., Senator Reed will join University of Rhode Island students in support of legislation to prevent interest rates on certain student loans from doubling this year. 

Stafford federal subsidized loans have been issued to 7.8 million low- and middle-income undergraduate students, including more than 36,000 Rhode Islanders. About 8,000 URI students are using a subsidized Stafford loan.

The current rate is 3.4 percent, but that rate will double to 6.8 percent on July 1 unless Congress takes action.  That jump could mean an increase of about $5,000 over a 10-year repayment period for borrowers who rely most on federal student loans.  Students in their first and second years are likely to be hit the hardest by a possible federal rate hike.

Earlier this year, Reed introduced the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051) to prevent the rate hike and permanently cap subsidized Stafford student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent.

“A college education is an important investment for both individuals and America’s global competitiveness.  It is in our national interest to try and keep student loan rates low,” Reed said.  “As the price of college continues to increase, more students are forced to take out bigger loans to pay for their education.  Congress has a July 1 deadline to pass this legislation and I will continue working to prevent this rate hike.”

WHO: Senator Jack Reed, author of legislation to stop student loan interest rates from doubling in July; URI President Dr. David M. Dooley; URI students

WHEN: Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: URI Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road Kingston

Release courtesy of Senator Reed’s office. Want to be e-mailed when we have new releases about URI? Click the “keep me posted!” button below.

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