Vote to Prevent Doubling of Student Loan Interest Rate

Today, I was proud to vote in favor of legislation that will prevent the interest rate on federally-subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling on July 1.  Without Congressional action, this rate would have risen from 3.4% to 6.8%, adding $1,000 to the debt burden of approximately 7.4 million students, including 394,000 Pennsylvanians.  This vote represents an immediate and necessary step in the fight for affordable access to college.

“I believe that anyone with the drive, fortitude and desire to pursue the opportunities afforded by higher education should be able to realize that dream.  Studies have shown that those with college degrees can expect higher lifetime earnings and a lower chance of unemployment than those with lower levels of education.  In recent decades, however, tuition rates have grown to levels that threaten to put higher education out of reach for many Pennsylvanians, and jeopardize the continued prosperity of the Commonwealth.  As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, I will continue to seek solutions that make college accessible and affordable.