Budget Cuts Put College Out of Reach for Many,
Dig Graduates Deeper in Debt
Published in Chicago Tribune and The Daily Southtown in June 2006
The cost of getting a college education and the prospect of future debt has long been a concern for students
and their families, but these fiscal anxieties are especially poignant in light of upcoming federal student
loan rate hikes. Starting July 1st federal student loan rates are going to increase to a fixed rate of 6.8% for new
borrowers – and those who took out loans last year at 5.3% will see their rate jump to 7.14% - an increase
that will end up costing young borrowers thousands of dollars in additional interest over the course of their
loans. All present and recently graduated college students should be aware of this rate hike and look into
consolidation options before the new rates take effect July 1, 2006.
While time is running short, students and recent graduates can still take charge of their financial futures by
consolidating their loans before June 30, 2006 to lock in today’s historically low interest rates (as low as
3.5% with benefits applied). To learn more about the Federal Consolidation Loan Program, visit
www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov or by contacting your school’s financial aid department.
Recent Federal budget cuts to student aid – the largest in American history – will put higher education out of
reach for too many students, while digging those who are able to attend college deeper and deeper in debt
upon graduation. As members of the Young Women’s Leadership Council of Chicago Foundation for
Women, we are concerned that these cuts reflect a troubling shift away from college access and urge
students, graduates and their parents to educate themselves on the impact of federal budget policy decisions
on their financial futures, and take action now to consolidate their loans.
Heather Evans, Nicole Sauler, Elizabeth Sherman –
Members of the Young Women’s Leadership Council of Chicago Foundation for Wome