BlogBeat

3 Reasons Why Latino Students Should Care About Obama’s Proposal to Change Student Loan Rates

3 Reasons Why Latino Students Should Care About Obama’s Proposal to Change Student Loan Rates

By Rachel Ny
NerdScholar

Obamas-2014-Budget

Latina women are attending college at new record rates—over 1.4 million students in 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of Latina women in college rose from 9.7% to 13.3% amongst all female students. However, this higher education is coming at a high cost. According to the Center for American Progress, 67% of Latino students are graduating burdened with student debt.

The average student has over $25,000 in debt and the total national student debt has surpassed $1 trillion. The public has been clamoring for change to student loan interest rates and Obama’s 2014 Budget Proposal outlines a solution. NerdScholar analyzed what Obama’s proposal would mean to students, dollar for dollar.

What is Obama’s Budget Proposal?

Currently the interest rate for subsidized Stafford Loans is at 3.4% and the interest rate for unsubsidized Stafford Loans is at 6.8%. Come July 1st, rates are set to expire back to their original 6.8%. That’s right. They will double if congress does not act.

But President Obama has proactively addressed the issue of student loans in his recently submitted 2014 Budget Proposal. Specifically, he has proposed to tie student loan rates to the 10-year Treasury bill rate. Thus, rather than have the loan rates fixed, they would depend on the health of the market. When the market isn’t as robust, in times like now, and rates are low, students would pay less interest on their loans.

Student Loan Interest Rates Under Various Circumstances

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 11.28.20 AM (1)

Why should students care?

(1) Potential Money Savings: Students could save up to $2,300

NerdScholar’s analysis of the impact of President Obama’s Student Loan proposal found that 4-year students would save $1,000 on average in the future. Using projected 10-year Treasury bill rates over the next ten years, NerdScholar found that a 4-year college student starting school in 2014 could potentially save up to $2,300 on her student loans.

(2) Lesson learned from the past: Students would have saved up to $1,500 if the interest rates had been tied to the market rate
This could be our chance to learn from the past. The past seven years student loan interest rates have been fixed—but what if Obama’s proposed student loan reform had been in effect? Within the past 7 years, had the student loans been tied to the 10-year Treasury bill, 4-year students would have saved an average of $1,300 and up to $1,500.

(3) Tying rates to the market can be risky: Students could pay high rates without an interest cap
Saving money sounds great, right? However, there are risks involved with tying student loans to the market. Most critics fear the chance of an inflationary period in which the rates would skyrocket far above normal rates. Currently in Obama’s proposed plan, there is no outline for an interest rate cap. Historically, when student loan rates were tied to the market, the cap was reached 5 out of the 14 years. Students were saved from paying a rate higher than 8.25% those years because of the cap. Anyone needing student loans should keep their eyes on this debate as it unfolds.

By the end of June the old fixed student loan rate of 3.4% will expire and Congress will be forced to take action. Many consider education as the underlying foundation of our nation and the key to achieving the American dream. If this nation is to reach Obama’s projected goal of reclaiming the number one spot for college graduates, one key step is to make college more affordable and accessible to everyone. The debate over the student loan rate will be a solid testing ground for the priorities of our nation.

Rachel Ny is a strategy analyst at NerdScholar, a site that provides useful financial resources for students such as scholarships for Hispanics.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in BlogBeat

microphone_art_1170-770x460

Why politicians with deep voices get more votes

Latina ListaSeptember 3, 2015
spanish-speaking-countries-map-composition3

Businesses spring up in Spanish-speaking countries to provide immersive experience to learners of the language

Latina ListaSeptember 2, 2015
new-orleans-81669_1280

Post-Katrina increase in Hispanic students at metro New Orleans schools

Latina ListaSeptember 1, 2015
img_1193

Guatemala’s Asociacion Mujb ‘abl ‘yol celebrates graduation of 40 community journalists

Latina ListaAugust 31, 2015
shutterstock_179954507

Latinos have always cared about the environment — Now it’s time to Act!

Latina ListaAugust 27, 2015
8601700700_077303313a_b

What Don Quixote has to say to Spain about today’s immigrant crisis

Latina ListaAugust 26, 2015
1_19_12_custom-79e08b49f17e3857541887107d9547acc4d26e17-s800-c15

Commentary: Let’s Treat Juveniles in Detention at Least as Well as Animals in Zoo

Latina ListaAugust 25, 2015
Father and sons reading on bed

Little kids with big vocabularies start school ready to learn

Latina ListaAugust 24, 2015
image 3

App lets users PIVOT the World of Preservation

Latina ListaAugust 20, 2015