Missouri Students Form Coalition against Interest Rate Hikes

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2013 Courtney Hayes 314.359.2640 | courtney.hayes91@gmail.com

Missouri Students Form Coalition against Interest Rate Hikes In response to a scheduled doubling of student loan interest rates on July 1, Missouri students take action.

Missouri – In four days, on July 1, interest rates on student loans are set to expire, leaving students to pay 6.8% on unsubsidized Stafford loans – a rate two-times the current rate of 3.4%. In the face of rising interest rates, soaring student debts, and the rising cost of higher education, Missouri students have formed a coalition to spread the word and demand change.

“Students deserve the same rate as banks because education should be a public good and not a private investment,” stated University of Missouri-Kansas City Student Caleb-Michael Files in response to the scheduled rate increase. On the Facebook community for Missouri students taking action against the increases – titled Don’t Double My Rate Missouri – University of Missouri-St. Louis student Alice Floros states that “all Missourians deserve access to higher education.”

Students from UM-System schools, Truman State University, and St. Louis Community College have converged to discuss strategies to tackle the issue. While the UM System has expressed support for a proposal to tie interest rates to the 10-year Treasury Note and cap rates at 8.5%, students agree that this is unacceptable. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has signed on to cosponsor a bill proposed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to tie interest rates to the discount rate set by the Federal Reserve for loans given to banks at less than 1% - this would be in effect for at least one year until the reauthorization of the Higher Education Bill. Missouri Students Against Rate Increases agreed to stay non-partisan but to strongly oppose inaction. Students agreed to email Senators and Representatives, set up phone banks, and share messages on Facebook and Twitter. In a letter to be delivered to Missouri Representatives and Senators in Washington D.C., students state “We urge you to work together to find a solution to this problem in an aggressive yet balanced way. Shared sacrifice and common purpose must underpin whatever compromise is reached.”

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