Congressman Thompson Takes on Student Loan Interest Rates, Price of College

The candidate running in November to represent Rohnert Park in the new District 5 spoke at Sonoma State University this week.

Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, spoke at Sonoma State University Wednesday on the college affordability and rising student loan rates. If Congress does not pass legislation by July 1, seven million students across the country would see their interest rates double on need-based student loans, he said in a news release.

Thompson highlighted the impact a rise in interest rates would have on students and families who have to borrow money to go to college — emphasizing that the more money it costs, the less opportunity there will be for students to attend.

"If interest rates for students double to 6.8 percent on July 1, more than 572,000 students across California will see their debt load increase by more than $476 million," Thompson said in a news statement. "If our nation is going to continue producing the world’s best entrepreneurs and innovators to compete in the global economy, then a college education must be an affordable option for working families."

"College is already costly, and our government doesn’t need to make the price tag even higher by allowing interest rates to double," he added. "Congress needs to act now to keep this from happening"

Editor's note: Thompson's office said that "in 2007, Thompson voted to pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which made historic investments in student aid. The law halved interest rates on these need-based federal student loans to 3.4 percent, making them more affordable for low- and middle-income students. Without Congressional action, the rate will jump back up to 6.8 percent on July 1. Thompson is a co-author of legislation that would keep the interest rate on the need-based student loans at 3.4 percent."

What do you think of rising college costs in student loan interest rates and tuition? Have you found it more difficult for you as a student to pay for college, or as a parent, to put your kids throug college?


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