Huffman Holds Roundtable Discussion on Student Loan Rate Hike

May 30, 2013

WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) held a roundtable discussion Wednesday at the College of Marin on the affordability and accessibility of higher education. Huffman was joined by college students, parents, College of Marin President David Wain Coon, and representatives from MarinKids and 10,000 Degrees. Huffman discussed efforts to prevent the doubling of student loan interest rates on July 1, 2013, plans to make college more affordable, and his recent vote against a bill that would force students and families into $3.7 billion dollars of additional debt.

“We must ensure higher education is affordable and accessible for all American students,” Congressman Huffman said. “A college education is more important than it’s ever been, and I will keep working with students, educators, and policymakers so that families can afford higher education.”

Congressman Huffman is a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act (H.R. 1595), which would block student loan rates from doubling. The bill continues to allow college students and their families to benefit from historically low interest rates by freezing the current low 3.4 percent rate on subsidized Stafford loans for the next two years.

Student loan interest rates are scheduled to double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1. If Congress does not act to avert the rate hike, thousands of North Coast students and families will feel the pain:

  • At Dominican University, 1238 undergraduate students out of 1600 receive subsidized federal loans,
  • At Humboldt State University, 4871 students received Stafford loans in the 2012-2013 academic year,
  • At Santa Rosa Junior College, 634 students received Stafford loans in 2011-2012,
  • 230 students at Mendocino College will be affected.

Huffman is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1527, legislation to increase the tax deduction for student loan interest, and H.R. 1738, legislation to permanently extend the tax credit that covers expenses such as tuition, fees, and course materials.

Photos of the event may be found HERE.