This summer, the I AM NOT A LOAN campaign fought numerous proposals claiming to be long-term “solutions” for college affordability. Most really were just long-term disasters that would only make things worse for students. In the end, students got stuck with the Student Loan Certainty Act, a “compromise” by which the government stands to make billions off the backs of students. The deal lowered interest rates for subsidized Stafford loan borrowers now, but will also allow them to rise way too high in the long run—making it even harder for students to repay their loans. Even worse, the interest rate cap is higher for graduate students; and they are speaking out.

The interest rate cap for undergrad students is entirely too high at 8.25 percent. However, rates for graduate students could increase to a whopping 9.5 percent!  An article in the Huffington Post tells what the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) and The Council of Graduate Students (CGS) are doing about it:

“Students want their grievances to be part of the discussions as lawmakers debate the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which lays out guidelines for distributing federal student aid.
The NAGPS will lead a delegation of its members to Capitol Hill on Sept. 16-17 to directly address legislators. The Council of Graduate Students (CGS) has also submitted recommendations to Congress and plans to coordinate hearings with other student groups and lawmakers in coming weeks.”
The graduate students are demanding that interest rates be capped at 6.8 percent. However, it remains unlikely that it will happen.
“A senior Republican aide on the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions told Reuters that the caps had to be higher on graduate students so the government did not have to subsidize those rates.
‘This was a result of a compromise, a negotiation,’ the aide said. ‘There are winners and losers.’”
The student loan program will generate $185 billion for the federal government over the next decade. At a time when Congress should be doing everything in its power to make college more affordable, it looks like we—the students—are the only ones losing.  
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