Local college students support student loan rate freeze

Print
Email
|

by Janet Roach

WVEC.com

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:46 PM

NORFOLK -- There is a quick reaction from Old Dominion University senior, Marcus Everett, over the prospect of student loan interest rates doubling come July first.

"Just chill on that for a little while. Chill on doubling the interest rate for a little bit," said Everett.

Everett isn't alone among students who hope Congress freezes the rate at 3.4%. The rate reduction applies to federally subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates. It is part of the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Rates were reduced gradually until arriving at the present 3.4 point. It's estimated that seven million college student benefit from the act. ODU economics professor, Dr. Gary Wagner, says for many students, the Stafford loan should be a small part of their overall loan portfolio but adds that a 6.8% rate will still create some hardship for low-income students.

Stafford loans allow students to borrow subsidized amounts up to $5,500 dollars a year, depending on the student's class year. Wagner says, for example, a freshman can borrow up to $3,500 dollars, a senior, $5,500 dollars.

As President Obama takes his pitch for the rate freeze on the road, he spoke to students at the University of North Carolina Tuesday. Likely GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney says he, too, supports a rate freeze.

It's estimated it will cost the government six billion dollars to extend the rate freeze into the next academic year. Not all the congressmen in Hampton Roads were willing to commit to either side. Spokespeople for both republican Congressmen Scott Rigell and Rob Whitman say they have yet to speak to Congressmen about the issue. Wes Battle, a spokesperson for republican Congressman Randy Forbes says in email, "It is premature to comment. I have not seen a bill extending the rate or seen where the six billion dollars will be coming from that it will cost."

Meanwhile, Democrat Congressman, Bobby Scott expresses strong support for the freeze.

 

 

Print
Email
|