Student Loans

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From Texas Standard:

College has become a prerequisite for most high-paying jobs in the U.S., but college itself is out of reach for millions, and that number is growing. And the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that in the past 10 years, student loan debt has grown by more than 100 percent. People ages 19 to 29 hold more than $1 trillion in student debt, and that's just the Millennial generation. With a wide-open Democratic primary field, it's almost certain that college affordability will be an issue during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Adam Harris writes in The Atlantic that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates have focused their attention on how to make college affordable in the future,  proposing free college tuition or policies that would allow students to leave school without debt.

Harris says that prior to the 2016 election, momentum had been building nationally for some sort of free college program. But once Donald Trump was elected president, that momentum shifted to the states.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

If you’ve ever been curious about the return on investment for a college degree – think employment rates, student debt burden, and the like – you’d be pretty much out of luck. Since 2008, there’s been a ban on a federal database that would track information linking student education data to national employment data.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The cost of college continues to creep higher and higher – and financial aid isn’t keeping up.

More Texans are receiving those hefty student loan bills in the mail after graduation, but is college still worth the investment?

Nonprofit online college WGU Texas took the temperature of how Texans are feeling about the state of higher education in their annual poll, which you can read here.

Josh Blank of Strategic Research Associates conducted the study, and he says most Texans are still on board with higher ed.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

You may know that Austin's rapid growth is rapidly making it an expensive place to live. Home prices have jumped in recent years, and rents have followed suit. And, as college students head back to campus, they're feeling the pinch as well. 


A bill that would have let millions of people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate has failed in the Senate, after Republicans objected that it included a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. The measure would have allowed people with older loans to benefit from today's low interest rates.

The bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't get past a procedural vote, falling by a 56-38 vote. Called the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, it was shot down days after President Obama urged Congress to help ease the burden of student debt.

(This post was updated at 3:24 p.m. ET.)

President Obama signed an order on Monday that expands the number of Americans whose student loan payments will be capped at 10 percent of their monthly incomes.

CNN reports the new order would allow an additional 5 million borrowers to take advantage of the cap beginning in December 2015.

Bloomberg adds:

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

flickr.com/hmocopymonkey

U.S. Senators failed Wednesday to pass legislation to extend lower interest rates on federally-backed student loans. Republicans banded together to block the bill. But they have their own plan.

Interest rates of federally subsidized student loans have doubled to 6.8 percent. But there’s time for the rates to be reduced before students begin receiving their loans in late August.

courtesy flickr.com/thisisbossi

Students planning to borrow money from the federal government to pay for college will now pay 6.8 percent interest on their Stafford student loans.

Today, UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa expressed his disappointment with the increase, which effectively doubled the percentage of interest rates on student loans. 

KUT News

There could be test votes this week in the U.S. Senate in the latest showdown over student loan rates. Interest rates on federally-backed student loans are set to double on July 1.

It’s the same situation as a year ago when the scheduled rate increase was delayed for a year.