Congresswoman Hochul Discusses Student Loans
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Many students graduating from college in the upcoming weeks are excited to take their heads out of the books, but with real life comes paying back debt.
Congresswoman Kathy Hochul met with students at the University of Rochester to talk about student loans.
Hochul opposes the House Republican budget that was approved Thursday, which would cause deep cuts in Pell Grants for low-income college students.
House Republicans say deep cuts in spending are necessary to cut the national debt. The Republican plan cuts $3.3. trillion more than Obama's plan.
Hochul spoke with U of R students Friday stressing that if Congress does not take action before July first, interest rates on student loans will double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent.
The discussion hit close to home for students. For this school year, nearly 2,500 University of Rochester students borrowed just under $10 million in subsidized direct loans, the same loans that would be subject to rate increases on July first.
Hochul calls graduating college students "casualties of the recession" and says the students are not at fault.
"I talked to a man on airplane, a Southwest flight. He sat next to me and told me that his son had 70,000 in debt and was working at Walmart. His younger brother said he doesn't want to go to college because he doesn't want to end up like his older brother. You hear those stories, it's heartbreaking," said Hochul.
Hochul says college costs have gone up 30 percent in the last decade.
Student loan debt in this country now exceeds one trillion dollars, higher than credit card debt.