In the latest debacle, members of the House and Senate have once again failed those looking for a better future. Students will now be required to pay subsidized Stafford Loans back at a higher interest rate.
The good news is that this interest rate may be better than either of the student loan plans created by House or Senate Republicans. Both of those plans linked the interest rate to ten-year Treasury borrowing rate plus three percent. The House plan was capped at 8.5 percent.
The Senate plan would have used any “savings” for deficit reduction, effectively making college graduates pay for the deficit twice – once through the taxes on a theoretically higher income that college should afford graduates and again on the interest that the students are paying back for their education.
Congress has promised that it will renew lower interest rates after the Independence Day break. However, after seeing how the government treated the victims of Hurricane Sandy, students should not hold their breath, even if they are drowning in debt.
Republicans and Democrats have shown that they are more likely to bicker with each other than to reach an agreement that is good for the country as a whole. Everyone will say that America needs an educated workforce, but the United States’ government is proving through its actions that education is overrated.
It is up to students to demand what they deserve – a good education at an affordable price. Those demands need to be made at the state and the national level. Until students decide that they have had enough, the Utah Legislature and Board of Regents will continue to raise tuition, and the people in D.C. will place the deficit on the back of students who are supposed to be the future of this country.
With the lack of leadership and the inability of the parties to compromise, it is our future that suffers. It may be too much to expect progress from an organization that derives its name from the opposite of moving forward, but students need to take control of their own destiny. That starts with an email to those in D.C. who will otherwise feel justified in taking money from the poor to give to rich.