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Statement of Rich Williams, Higher Education Advocate for US PIRG, on the failure to move debate forward on a bill to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this July:
"It seems safe to say that the more than seven million students who will be taking out Stafford student loans for the next school year, join our disappointment that today the Senate could not pass a bill to keep interest rates from doubling on July 1. Senators who return to their home states and say 'I tried' should be reminded that there is no A for effort. This debate is not about partisan gamesmanship in Washington but about a potential post-graduation debt increase of $1,000 for every year a subsidized Stafford loan borrower is in school.
Average student debt is $25,000 and rising, a crushing burden made worse by an uncertain job market. This month, students and their families are receiving financial aid award letters warning of the interest rate increase and causing nervous tension over the uncertainty.
With the political votes behind them, we urge Senators who are truly concerned about students and the rising cost of higher education to find a bipartisan solution before the July 1 deadline."
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