Student loan interest rates to double in July

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email

HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - College could be even more expensive if Congress fails to reach a deal over student loan interest rates before July 1st.

That is the deadline when the interest rate of Subsidized Stafford loans from the federal government is set to double.

The rate will increase from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Republicans and Democrats are working on ways to avoid that increase but as of right now, they have not reached an agreement.

That has area colleges looking for ways to keep higher education reasonably priced for students.

At Hazard Community and Technical College, Director of Financial Aid Chuck Anderson said college is a big financial decision for families and that they should try to pay for as much schooling as possible without loans.

"We encourage people to apply early for any scholarship or grant," said Anderson.

He said that gives you the best opportunity to get the most financial aid available.

"The earlier you apply the financial aid application, the better your chances are for getting eligible for some of those programs that are out there," said Anderson.

Still, Anderson does not deny some students must take out loans.

He advises students remember their ABCs.

"Always borrow conservatively, only borrow what you need," said Anderson.

Doug Fraley is the Vice President for Student Affairs at the college.

He said despite the possible increase in interest rates, there is still no substitution for a college education.

"If you need loans to go to college, it's a great investment," said Fraley.

He added even if you fear you simply cannot afford school, do not give up.

He said the college can help out students if they know about the issue.

"Our whole system stresses keeping tuition at a minimum and so that is the best financial aid program that we can offer students," said Fraley.

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