By: Matt Horn
June 10, 2013
Interest rates for federal student loans may double if Congress doesn’t act fast to stop it. The hike comes at a time Florida Universities are increasing tuition.
College students across the Florida are deeper in debt than ever before and the interest they pay could soon double. “Some of my friends have recently graduated and they’re struggling to pay interest rates on student loans,” said FSU Senior, Stephen Craun. “They’re working 2, 3 part time jobs just to pay interest rates.”
Congress must act before July first to keep interest rates low; but, there is no guarantee they will do anything. “In the next couple of years no one’s going to be able to afford college; and how do you expect anyone to get a job if they don’t have a college degree,” asked FSU Junior, Jasemine Thompson.
Student interest rates are 3.4 percent. Competing measures in Congress fell short of the votes they needed to keep rates where they are. A bipartisan effort will be the only thing to stop the rates from doubling.
Last week Governor Rick Scott pleaded with university presidents to keep the cost of tuition the same as last year. “I want to make sure our education is affordable and when they walk out of these universities, they have a job and a higher paying job if they had not gone,” said Governor Scott.
On Friday the University of South Florida listened to the governor, but Florida State and The University of Florida both voted to increase tuition to keep up with inflation. “I’m going to be broke. But that’s okay, that’s okay,” said Thompson. “Hopefully this degree from FSU will help me pay it back in a speedy time.”
Federal figures show 1 in 8 people are at least three months behind on their student loans. The delinquency rates grew from 8 to almost 12 percent over the last two years.