Meridian, Idaho– Unless Congress acts, college costs will climb for Idaho students when student loan interest rates double in July. That could also hurt Idaho’s business climate.
President Obama is visiting universities this week to talk about the student loan issue and urge Congress to act. The president’s message comes as the Republican-dominated Idaho State Board of Education is noting that, in eight years, 63 percent of Idaho businesses will require workers with post-secondary degrees and certifications.
“Making college affordable is a key investment into the future of Idaho’s young people and Idaho’s competitiveness in the business world,” said Morgan Hill, Jr., president of Idaho Young Democrats. “Idaho needs to attract businesses to the state and keep businesses here. One way to do that is to make sure students can afford to get the education, skills and training that businesses require.”
If Congress does nothing, interest rates for new subsidized student loans are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, causing at least 7 million students to be hit with an average of more than $1,000 in additional costs over the life of that loan.
Idahoans who want a strong economy should demand that candidates for Congress and for president support students, and make sure businesses have the workforce they need. Idaho Democratic Congressional candidates Nicole LeFavour and Jimmy Farris have both pledged to work at keeping college affordable for middle class families and young people. LeFavour has a proposal to incentivize universities to lower tuition and fees and to reduce student debt burden.
Contact: Dean Ferguson (208) 790-4530 or Morgan Hill, Jr., (954) 465-0960