More than 382,000 students in Ohio (for the number in your county, click here) attend college with the help of Stafford Loans. Stafford Loans, low-interest loans for low- to moderate-income students, assist undergraduate and graduate students who could not otherwise afford college.
Unless Congress acts soon, on July 1, the interest rates on these student loans will double for 8 million U.S. undergraduate students.
That could mean an increase of about $1,000 in interest payments for borrowers simply because Congress refuses to take action.
Allowing Stafford Loan interest rates to increase will hinder Ohio students’ ability to afford college and hurt America’s economic competitiveness.
Senator Sherrod Brown recently introduced the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, which would prevent college from becoming more expensive. This legislation would help Ohio students by maintaining the current interest rates for subsidized Stafford student loans at 3.4%.
It is in our best interests to make sure that higher education is affordable and accessible to qualified students. Educational attainment is a great equalizer. We need to do more to educate young people for the jobs of the twenty-first century and connect them with businesses searching for skilled workers.
The last thing we should be doing is adding to Ohio students’ debt load.
As more students enroll in higher education, debt balances will climb. Students burdened by debt are less likely to start a business, buy a home, or go to graduate school.
Sen. Brown’s legislation would make sure that more middle-class Ohioans can go to college. Ohio students should not mortgage their future or delay their opportunities for a better life because of student loan debt.
Many middle-class jobs in Ohio and throughout the country require training past high school. Higher education leads to higher earnings over a lifetime.
Students should not be forced to forgo college because Congress refused to work.