Kay Hagan Hosts Roundtable

SENATOR HAGAN HOSTS ROUNDTABLE ON COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AT N.C. A&T

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan hosted a roundtable discussion at North Carolina A&T State University with Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. and other local college administrators and students to discuss college affordability and potential loan increases.  Martin along with Dr. Randy Parker, Guilford Technical Community College president; Deborah Tollefson, University of North Carolina at Greensboro director of financial aid; and students from  A&T and UNCG discussed the impact these increases will have on students.

“Over 75 percent of the students at North Carolina A&T State University currently receive Stafford Loans to help fund their education,” said Martin  “The prospect of the interest rate doubling on these loans will increase their debt and greatly impact their ability to contribute to our state and nation's economy.”

Basha Webster, a junior chemical engineering student at North Carolina A&T said, “I’m concerned about the average American, they’re going to have to downsize their entire lifestyle.”

“I thought about the trickling effect of debt,” Webster said, “they’re going to have a large amount of debt which will affect their kids.”

The current interest rate on Stafford Loans is 3.4 percent. Sen. Hagan called for bipartisan action in Congress to keep the rates from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1.

"We must find a way to keep student loan interest rates low and avoid putting one more burden on the shoulders of middle class families who are trying to make ends meet,” said Hagan. “I will continue working to improve access to college for students across our state, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to find a bipartisan solution to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1."

More than 176,000 North Carolina students could be impacted during the 2013-2014 academic terms by a spike in interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans.