The inaction of Congress so far to halt the doubling of Stafford college loan interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent has prompted student government presidents from five Louisiana universities — including UL Lafayette — in urging federal lawmakers to take action before the increased rates take effect July 1.

The Times-Picayune reports that congressional Democrats and Republicans are still trying to reach an agreement on how to fund potential legislation that would keep the current interest rates in tact and avoid what The White House blog explains as “an additional $1,000 of student loan debt for more than 7 million students.”

“Louisiana students leave college with an average student debt of $24,548,” the students’ letter states. “If Congress fails to freeze Stafford Loan interest rates, our students take an additional $79 million in total debt as classes start in the fall. This means we will spend millions of dollars each year repaying loans rather than buying our first homes and cars, investing in new companies, or starting families in the next decade.”

According to The Times-Pic, the letter to members of Congress was praised by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and signed by Taylor Cox of Louisiana State University, Michael Lewis of Tulane University, Ashley Mudd of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Ashley Trussell of Xavier University and Khaled Badr of Loyola University.

President Obama has led the charge for Congress to act on the interest rate increases through a campaign aptly called “Don’t Double My Rate.”

Read The Times-Pic story here.

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