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Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald: Let’s Invest in Our Youth- Don’t Double Their Rates

Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald calls on Congress to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling on July 1st.

If Congress doesn’t act by July 1st, interest rates on federal subsidized loans will double and the average student will accumulate an additional $1,000 in debt.  We’re pleased that despite failing to address it in their budget, Republicans in Congress now profess to be concerned about this coming rate hike. But now it’s time for them to stop refighting old political battles and prove they’re serious by proposing a real solution to keep rates low for students without burdening middle class families or undercutting preventive health care for women.  Higher education can’t be a luxury for just a few, it’s an economic imperative which leads to better jobs and a strong middle class. 

Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, who oversees his state’s important College Savings program, understands that students need help now more than ever.  That’s why he spoke out in a recent letter to the editor published in the Oskaloosa News and the Newton Independent.  Treasurer Fitzgerald wrote:

I recently had the opportunity to visit with President Obama when he was in Iowa over concerns with the potential interest rate hike for student loans.  It became apparent as I was listening to him that the President and I share one very strong belief.  We need to help young people and their families make college affordable. 

The President wants Congress to pass legislation that will stop student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, 2012.  To better understand what this means for Iowa families, I did some math.  The average amount Iowa students will borrow next year is just over $4,000.  If the interest doubles, this will cost those students an extra $993 over the life of that loan.  These students should not graduate from college with that extra burden…

Since a college education is an investment that lasts a lifetime, we need to make sure that it is a good investment for our youth.  I encourage all Iowans to ask Congress to support President Obama’s plan to keep student loan rates from doubling.

You can find out how doubling these interest rates would impact students in your state here.