On Friday the House voted 373 to 52 to approve a $120 billion, 27-month bill to fund highway projects. Attached to that bill was the student loan extension, which prevented rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.
The bill would spend more than $100 billion on highway and transit programs over two years. And it would also prevent a doubling of interest rates on new student loans, which was scheduled to go into effect Sunday, the Washington Post reports.
“Student aid is essential for students of color,” Julianne Hing, Colorlines.com’s education reporter wrote in an archived story that looked at financial aid reform. Below is an excerpt from Hing’s story titled “The Student Aid Reform Victory Is A Win for Students of Color:”
Studies have shown that Blacks and Latinos are especially debt-averse, who will not enter into student loans to pay for school because they are either unwilling or unable to take on more debt. Instead, students of color take time off from school, alternating semesters in school with months away from campus so they can work and save enough to re-register. And students of color are more likely to drop out of school because of the unbearably high costs of college. Sixty-nine percent of Black students who don’t graduate say they left because of high student loan debt, compared to 43 percent of white students.
And even though 86 percent of Latinos say getting a college education is a high priority for them, 49 percent of Latino students delay or don’t attend because of the high cost of student loans. Latino students are more likely to attend a cheaper school, choosing a community college over a state school, or a state university over a private school, for instance, because of the high costs. The findings were ironically released by a study conducted by Sallie Mae.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy looked at students who went into repayment from 2004 to 2009, and found that 40 percent of people who take out student loans fall behind on their payments at some point in the first five years of repayment.