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Student Interest Rate Jump Might Not Change College Choices

If Congress fails to act by July 1, student loan interest rates will double, but some parents and students say that is not affecting their choice of college.

IU students

Photo: Indiana Public Media News

University students in Indiana could see a significant increase in their students loans if Congress does not act.

The student loan interest rate is set to double July 1. As the  deadline approaches, students and parents are hoping there’s time for Congress to provide financial relief.

Aware of it or not, this year’s class of college freshmen are on track to be paying back their education at twice the rate  compared to last year.

Patrick Kohl is at IU with his daughter for freshman orientation. He says some of his friends are looking at community colleges to help with high tuition rates.

“It’s not going to impact our decision,” Kohl says.  ”It s going to make it a little more difficult later on because of the greater interest payments, but it’s one of those necessary evils that we can’t change and we are just going to have to deal with it.”

Director of Financial Aid at Purdue University, Ted Malone isn’t convinced Congress will actually allow the interest rate increase deadline to pass without taking action.

“I think at a minimum they are going to put it off another year,” Malone says.  ”I would be really surprised if they let it happen.”

He says there are other forms of assistance and funding available, but Indiana students have to look for them. Every year thousands of dollars worth of scholarships and grants go unclaimed.

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