On Wednesday, January 17, 2007, the House of Representatives will consider legislation to cut interest rates in half on federal college loans. Specifically, the legislation will cut interest rates on need-based federal loans for undergraduate students from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent in five steps: to 6.12 percent in 2007; 5.44 percent in 2008; 4.76 percent in 2009; 4.08 percent in 2010; and 3.40 percent in 2011.
Once fully implemented, these cuts will save the typical borrower - with $13,800 in need-based loan debt - approximately $4,400 in interest costs over the life of his or her loan.
Why making college more affordable for America's students is a top priority
With the cost of college skyrocketing in recent years, there is no question that our nation is facing a serious crisis in college affordability. ..This is the first time in America's history that an entire generation has had to go deeply into debt in order to attain a college degree.
Many would-be students - as many as 200,000 per year, according to past estimates from the U.S. Department of Education - choose to delay or forego attending college because they can't afford it. This is unfair to them and, because college graduates open businesses and create jobs, it is bad for our economy
and our country's future.