Local representative Scott Peters (D-San DIego) stands among the congressmembers who support President Obama's plan to shorten the time students spend paying off federal student loan debt, instead of paying out money to start a family with a house and a car. Monday, he publicly asked congressmembers agree the Congress needs to pass the President's federal loan refinancing plan.
Giving all students with Direct Loans, or Federal Family Education Loans, FFEL, loaned since July 1st, 2006, a Federal Direct Consolidated Loan with a 4 percent interest rate would save students near 38 percent on the loan payment amount over a twenty year life of a student loan. That is close to ten thousand dollars for a typical 25,000 dollar student loan debt.
In San DIego, students attending the local UC, San DIego will walk out the campus doors after the student, and their family, spends a half to a full year's workforce entry income on tuition, and school and living costs, each year they went to school. Peters does not want interest rates on federal student loans closing off opportunities to use federal loan assistance to make college affordable. "We should be making it easier and more affordable for students to get a college education, not keeping it financially out of reach for middle class families. We need to educate our kids to be competitive in the global economy; it's an investment in our economic future, and an investment in American families."
Presdent Obama, on the front line in the fight against unaffordable college education, asked Congress to decide it is time to stop letting education finance numbers stand in the way of getting a college education that adds 15,000 dollars to the average high school graduate's income, and keeps graduates off unemployment. "No hardworking person should be priced out of an education," he said Monday at The White House. His proposal to cap student loan payments at 10 percent a graduate's income, he says, gives the graduate a chance to get ahead in life.
Congress has the next few weeks to give an official approval on the President's plan. Peters, and Los Angeles representative Loretta Sanchez, signed onto the House version of the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act proposed in the House in early May. The bill went to the Committee on THe WOrkforce and Education. Obama seeks an approval vote on the Senate version proposed by Senator Gillibrand.
This is an On The Watch Take.