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Arne Duncan: Keeping Stafford Rates Steady is Vital

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CREDIT: whitehouse.gov

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on Congress to keep the interest rates on Stafford student loans from doubling in less than two weeks, telling education reporters during a briefing Tuesday that now is not the time to make higher education more costly.

“We can’t afford to take a step backwards,” Duncan said, calling on Congress to take action before the July 1 deadline.

If Congress fails to act, the interest rate on Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. The increase would coststudents an extra $1,000, on average, over the life of their loans. It would impact 7.4 million students.

“We simply can’t afford to let that happen,” Duncan said during the briefing. “Words are cheap. We need action.”

Watch Duncan’s comments here:

The remarks were part of a White House Online Summit on Education held this week.

Brian Stewart is the Communications Director at Generation Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @brianstewart.

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