POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 5:31pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 9:57am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — Nearly 20 million Americans attend college each year; The Chronicle of Higher Education reports 60 percent of those students take out loans to cover the cost. Senior nursing student at the University of Texas at Tyler, Blair Stiles says she needs loans to stay afloat, "Since 2011 I've taken out two loans," Stiles says.
When Stiles heard the news that as of July 1, 2013 new subsidized federal loan interest rates would jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, she became very worried about the future of higher education, "By taking out all of these students loans, yeah you can get your education now, but not necessarily in the future,” Stiles says.
Mary Lynn Smith, Program Officer for the East Texas Communities Foundation, ETCF, educates students across 32 counties in East Texas how to prepare for college. Smith says, "The number of people this interest rate is going to affect is huge." Smith adds, "Being about to afford the American dream—doubling that—is just scary to think about."
Smith suggests don't take loan money out if you don't have to, she says,"I tell every student to apply for every single scholarship you're eligible for."
The rate hike comes after congress failed to reach a deal to stop it. However once they’re back in session after the July 4 holiday, interest rates could drop again. Stiles says, “I hope they stick around and make a better decision, but then again all you can do is hope."
To learn more about local scholarship opportunities please visit: http://www.etcf.org/