Rally against hike in student loans

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH)-- If the US senate doesn't reach an agreement soon student loan interest rates could double. And that increase could affect thousands of Connecticut college students.

A rally against a pending student loan hike drew a small crowd at Central Connecticut State.

But their problem is big. College loan interest rates are set to double next week if congress doesn't act.

"I feel like my dream is going to die. I can't afford to go and take out these loans and have a humongous interest rate," said Letitia Ewing, CCSU student.

The federal Stafford loan interest rate is 3.4 percent, but it could jump to 6.8 percent. That is unless the senate stops it.

That would help students like Feddy Rios. The engineering major is the first in his family to go to college. Heading into his senior year, he's already racked up $15,000 in debt.

"By the time I do graduate my student loans are going to be so high that by the time I do get a career, it will be hard to pay off. It will be hard to buy a car, get a vehicle," said Freddy Rios, CCSU student.

According to the website, projectonstudentdebt.org, 64 percent or more than half of Connecticut college students graduate with some student loan debt. The average amount of that debt, more than $28,000."

On top on medical bills, the 40-year-old cancer survivor says she cannot afford more debt. Still, no matter what happens to student loan rates, she will find a way to get her degree and become a counselor.

"I didn't beat cancer to give up. So, I know that I will still press on," said Ewing.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy co-sponsored one of the bills presented Thursday. It is one year extension of the current Stafford loan interest rate of 3.4 percent. Still, there is not a lot of time before the July 1st deadline.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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