College students across the Florida are deeper in debt than ever before and the interest they pay could soon double.
“Some of my friends have recently graduated and they’re struggling to pay interest rates on student loans. They’re working 2, 3 part time jobs just to pay interest rates,” said college senior Stephen Craun.
Congress must act before July first to keep interest rates low…but there is no guarantee they will do anything.
“In the next couple of years no one’s going to be able to afford college; and how do you expect anyone to get a job if they don’t have a college degree?” said college junior Jasemine Thompson.
Student interest rates are 3.4%. Competing measures in Congress fell short of the votes they needed to keep rates where they are. A bi-partisan effort will be the only thing to stop the rates from doubling.
Students who max out their student loans to pay for textbooks and tuition will pay 1,000 dollars more this year than last.
Last week Governor Rick Scott pleaded with university presidents to keep the cost of tuition the same as last year.
“I want to make sure our education is affordable and when they walk out of these universities, they have a job and a higher paying job if they had not gone,” said Scott.
On Friday, the University of South Florida listened to the governor, but Florida State and The University of Florida both voted to increase tuition to keep up with inflation.
“I’m going to be broke. But that’s okay, that’s okay. Hopefully this degree from FSU will help me pay it back in a speedy time,” said Thompson.
Federal figures show 1 in 8 people are at least three months behind on their student loans.
The delinquency rates grew from 8% to almost 12% over the last two years.