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With interest rates scheduled to double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st, if Congress does not act, more than 7 million students are expected to incur an additional $6.3 billion in repayment costs for the 2012 – 2013 academic school year. These increased costs would make college access more difficult and impose an additional financial burden on many young people and families already struggling in a difficult economy. According to the Committee on Education and Workforce, the total cost of student loan interest payments for Rhode Islanders would rise nearly $35 million over the next year.
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, which would prevent student interest rates from doubling; I spoke at length about the importance of this issue, along with Congressman Joe Courtney and Congressman Tim Bishop, on the House floor last Wednesday; and, next Tuesday, I will be joined by a coalition of students, parents, stakeholders, and business to leaders who will urge Rhode Islanders to tell their stories about student loan debt.
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