Lawmakers work to stop student loan increase

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- In just one week, interest rates on some need-based federal student loans are going to double. That's unless lawmakers in Congress can find a way to stop the increase from happening.

Over the last 30 years, the average tuition at four year state universities has almost quadrupled. When Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro mentioned it, you could see jaws drop.  She organized a round table meeting Monday to hear stories of people most impacted so she can share their stories in Washington this week.

"Average student loan debt among graduating seniors is at over $26,000.  A heavy burden to carry into the job market," said DeLauro.

Seventeen-year-old Alicia Waldner is already working three jobs, knowing she'll be one of those students in serious debt.   

"How can people expect just a 17-18 year old to graduate high school and know they could be in $100,000 worth of debt?" said Waldner.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro painted a real picture for Alicia Waldner and other college students at the table, that if there's no compromise in Washington, Connecticut students will pay $1,000 more in interest on their loans next school year.

Waldner says if the student loan interest rate doubles to 6.8 percent on July 1st, she knows she will have a hard time paying for Southern Connecticut State in the fall with the hopes of going to a school in Tampa down the road.

The Dean of Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College says too many dreams are already being shattered because of the astronomical costs of tuition.

"You have students who sometimes take 3, 4, 5 years off to finish a community college education, now they'll be taking even longer," said Adrienne Maslin, Dean of Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College.

"People fighting for us obviously means a lot to me and to everyone else in the same situation," said Waldner.

Congresswoman DeLauro says she will keep fighting for students.

Senator Richard Blumenthal is also co-sponsoring a bill to allow students the same discounted loan rates.


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Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
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