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Student Loans


Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu May 2, 2013

Duckworth, College Students & Administrators Discuss Ways To Make Higher Ed More Affordable

Certain student loan interest rates are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, come July 1. The rate hike could potentially cost millions of people who rely on college financial assistance an additional $1,000 each school year.

The added cost is too much for some students to bear, said U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8) at a college affordability roundtable discussion Thursday.

“I remember what that was like as a student, when I was counting down to the last five bucks that I had until my next check came,” she said at the discussion, held at the College of DuPage (COD).

Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
Tue Apr 16, 2013

$100,000 Plus In College Debt, ‘No Jobs in Sight’: Chicago Students Push For Loan Reforms (VIDEO)

With total college loan debts pushing nearly a trillion dollars in the U.S., a group of Chicago students are pushing for student loan reforms.

Students told stories of promising futures soon replaced by a grim employment outlook through their prepared speeches at the Chicago Temple United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon.

Amanda Weaver, a Loyola University master’s student, told the crowd of about 200 parents, students and concerned community members that her student loans added up to a combined total pf $134,000.

“My parents, teachers, guidance counselors all told me ‘Go to school, take the loans, invest in my future,’” Weaver said speaking from the church pulpit. “I was told I would get nowhere in the job market without this expensive degree. Well, the truth is, after I graduated there were no jobs in sight.”

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Tue Aug 7, 2012

Duckworth, Walsh Debate Schedule Becomes Debatable

The schedule for the 8th District Congressional debates between U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-McHenry) and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth is set — but not without some carping from Walsh’s campaign.

Walsh and Duckworth, who is best known for her time serving in Iraq and as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, will square off September 14 on Fox News Chicago, October 9 at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, and October 18 on the WTTW's Chicago Tonight. The October 9 debate is open to 8th District residents and will be broadcast on WCPT AM & FM.

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Op-Ed: President And Congress Deserve Credit For Freezing Student Loan Rate

The following is by Celeste Meiffren, field director for Illinois PIRG.

Last week, a divided Congress came together to deliver for the economy, as well as students and families, by extending the low 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans.

The rate was scheduled to double on Saturday, June 30th, without a new plan from Congress. With the atmosphere in Washington, DC even more partisan than usual due to the impending election, many were skeptical that both sides of the aisle could come together to freeze the low interest rate on these loans. Yet on Friday, Democrats and Republicans responded to the public by agreeing on a new law freezing the low rate for one year, and just in the nick of time.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Funding Tacked Onto Transportation Bill To Speed Up Asian Carp Prevention Plan

The recent legislative fight in Washington to keep the interest rate on federally-subsidized Stafford loans from doubling also provided an unexpected victory for those concerned with keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

Included within the $120 billion transportation bill Congress passed last Friday was a measure to extend the student loan interest rate at 3.4 percent for one year as well as a provision requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to come up with a plan in 18 months to prevent Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes.

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Clock Continues To Tick On Student Loan Interest Rate Extension

As the deadline draws near for Congress to find a solution to the ongoing debate over how to prevent student loan ineterst rates from doubling, education advocates have warned that a failure to act would negatively impact the nation’s economy.

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
Thu Jun 21, 2012

Housing Market Woes Continue, Legislators Hold Keys To Possible Solutions

Continued stagnation within the U.S housing market has been cited as one of the key factors contributing to a still slow economic recovery. Meanwhile, forecasts for the remainder of the year indicate a rise in foreclosures and sluggish home sales remain. We take a look at some of the causes of the housing market's ongoing problems and discuss a few possible solutions.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Mon May 7, 2012

Student Loan Interest Rate Debate Headed To The Senate, Study Looks At Impact In Illinois

The rising costs of higher education could get a lot worse for Illinois students if Congress fails to keep interest rates on federally-subsidized Stafford loans from doubling by July, according to the findings of local advocacy group released Thursday.

Data from the Illinois Public Interest Group found that Illinois college students could be in debt by as much as $380 million a year if lawmakers do not renew a 2007 law that cut interest rates down from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.