SOTU: Obama Pushes Low Interest Rates, More Work-Study

Media Contacts
Rich Williams


Washington, D.C. – In the annual State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed measures to bring relief to almost 8 million students who will see their student loan interest rates double on new loans starting July 1st, 2012.

“In this economy, we cannot double the student loan interest rate.  Without a new plan, millions of students will pay a crushing $5,200 more on their student loan than they otherwise would,” said Rich Williams, Higher Education Advocate for US PIRG.  “Students are already weighed down by state budget cuts, struggling family finances and uncertain job prospects. We applaud President Obama for his proposal to keep student loan interest rates low.”

If Congress does nothing, borrowers who will takeout the maximum $23,000 in subsidized student loans will see their interest balloon to an additional $5,200 over a 10-year repayment period and $11,300 over a 20-year repayment period.

In addition to loans, many students work their way through college to keep their debt burden low.  However more full time students are becoming full time workers.  With the economic down turn, it is getting harder for those students to find and continue employment. Doubling the amount of work-study jobs, as proposed by the President, will help support needy students willing to work hard make it to graduation.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of State Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization with campus chapter affiliates across the country representing hundreds of thousands of students.  For more information visit
For more information on Affordable Higher Education, visit