Education is something that people not only value, but cherish. Coming July 1, 2013, however, it will be less accessible to every current student and prospective student—that is unless Congress acts immediately. As of now, there are about 37 million students with outstanding student loans, bringing the total student loan debt to about 1 trillion dollars. This July, the numbers will become even higher, with Stafford Loans increasing from 3.4% to 6.8%, which would bring an estimated $1,000 more debt per student every year. For many, this may seem like déjà vu, for the same thing was projected to happen last year. Fortunately for us, the Obama Administration along with the Democratic Party and many other student interest groups managed to convince Congress to pass a one year extension. July 1st marks the end of that one year extension.
Students are already struggling to pay for their schooling and living off as little as they can, we cannot afford to cut back even more. Fortunately according to the White House, “President Obama put forward a long-term solution that cuts rates this year on nearly all new loans, ensures that all students have access to affordable repayment options, and does not charge students higher interest rate to pay for deficit reduction”. He, however, cannot do this on his own. Last year, we as students had an enormous impact on the Hill; we were able to convince 186 Republicans in the House and 24 Republicans in the Senate to work with Democrats to keep student loan rates low.We cannot let up now; we must contact our members of congress and encourage them to not double our rates, we must use social media outlets to get our voices heard such as Twitter and Facebook.
As our President has said, “Education is an economic necessity that every family should be able to afford, every young person with dreams and ambition should be able to access…Now is the time to reaffirm our commitment to you and the generation that’s coming behind you, and that if we work together to generate more jobs and educate more kids and open up new opportunities for everybody who’s willing to work and willing to push through those doors of opportunity, America can’t be stopped”. Let us stand behind our President and band together to send a strong message to Congress: “don’t double our rates!”