Interest Rate Debate: What Does It Mean For College Bound Students?

Correction: One student in our aired story was misidentified as Anastasia Harris. Her last name is Harisis.

The election season showdown over student loan interest rates is happening.

Congress is now on break for the Memorial Day holiday.

Just before they left, they failed another attempt to compromise over federally subsidized student loans.

On July 1st, the interest rate on loans for next year's tuition will double.

They are currently at 3.4-percent.

The goal is to keep the rates low.

The debate is how to pay for it.

Caught in the middle:

College bound students in the Rochester area.

Inside an Eastridge High economics class, students received a lesson on the nation's debt.

But many of these students could soon have debt of their own.

Once they head off to college.

"If we are looking at a SUNY tuition it could be anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000 or if they are looking at a private school it could be $40,000 to $50,000 per year. So if we are saying over four years, it could be up to $200,000 dollars they are taking out in loans," said Doreen Goossen, Director of Counseling.

Doreen Goossen is responsible to advising students on college options and how to pay for that education.

"We don't want to discourage them but there is the reality that you will have to do that," said Goossen.

These soon to be college freshman are prepping for the reality of debt after college.

Anastatsia Harisis chose a state school.

"I know personally when it came down to my top two schools, it was the cost that was the deciding factor," said Anastasia Harisis.

On the other hand, is headed to Depaul University.

It comes with a $200,000 price tag.

"Even if interest rates doubles, I am still sound in having a job when I get out of college," said Jason Ware, a student.

Vanessa Miller will go to Rennsellear polytechnic institute for engineering.

"The fact that they are talking about doubling th interest rates for federal subsidzied loans is kind of frightening," said Vanessa Miller, a student

Federal subsidized loans could jump to 6.8 percent in July if Congress doesn't act.

Students say they won't change college plans but they do worry.

"I feel like it is worth it but it definitely is a scary thing to think especially with the increased interest rates," said Ian Grygotis, a student headed to the Rhode Island School of Design.

These college bound students said they don't think there is much the government can do - except keep rates low and provide them with guidance.

"Just looking at national debt in general, I don't think there is anything else that can be done. It's up to the individual to take advantage of all of the opportunities that are out there, weigh your options," said Harisis.

The White House has said that the average cost to students would be $1,000 in debt if the Stafford Loan rate is increased.

President Obama has continued to push for lower interest rates in his campaign.

As for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, he has also said Congress should keep the rate low.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News