130,000 Students Petition Congress To Not Double Interest Rates On Stafford Loans

While interest rates on federal Stafford loans have stepped down over the last several years from 6.8% in 2007 to 3.4% for the current school year, that number is set to bounce all the way back up to 6.8% on July 1, leading 130,000 students to deliver letters to lawmakers in protest.

That could come out to thousands of extra dollars over the life of the loan. It could also make it more difficult for students to pay the loan back, especially as they enter a job market that doesn’t pay as well as it did a decade ago.

Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney has sponsored a bill that would extend the low interest rates.

“We’ve got 110 days to fix this problem,” he said during today’s rally on the Capitol steps. “Middle class families, every single day, are struggling in terms of making sure their kids have a chance to succeed in life.”

The Federal Reserve says that student loan debt now stands at $870 billion, making it larger than either credit card or car loan debt. While recent reports show that an increasing number of college graduates have been defaulting on their loans.

With parents of many college-age children already struggling to pay for tuition, student loans have become a necessity, but between the job market and the threat of increased interest rates some students worry that they could be putting their foot into a financial bear trap by taking out a loan.

“Even though graduation is several years away, I am worried about the amount of debt I will have,” said one student at today’s rally. “If interest rates double, the extra debt might also impact my ability to pay basic expenses like rent.”

Students lobby to keep interest rates lower [CNN Money]


Edit Your Comment

  1. dolemite says:

    Wasn’t this all part of some deal made to satisfy Republicans months ago?

    • thefncrow says:

      Not quite. There were some changes to the student loan program in the budget deal from last year, but those are different provisions (prohibiting graduate students from qualifying for subsidized loans and rate discounts for a history of on-time payment and some other things like that).

      The rate issue stems from a bill passed in 2007, I believe. The idea was that the loans would have their rates cut, but in order to avoid a big price tag on the bill, the bill lowered rates for 5 years and then sunset, with the implication being that a future Congress would then extend the rates or let it lapse if there was some trouble with the rates being lower.

      Of course, here we are, 5 years later, and the problem isn’t really the interest rates but the fact that you have an obstructionist party in the legislature that doesn’t really care about student loan rates and isn’t going to allow a renewal of the program through.

      • George4478 says:

        Not quite? Democrats passed a bill in 2007 that expired in 5 years and now it’s expiring. The changes from last year had nothing to do with this.

        What bill to extend these rates is the “obstructionist party” obstructing? There were two Congressmen interviewed in the AP article talking about how we need to address the problem. What they didn’t say was “…and that is why we’ve sponsored Bill blah-blah-42 to address this situation”. You can’t pass legislation unless someone introduces it.

        • Power Imbalance says:

          @George4478 “You can’t pass legislation unless someone introduces it.”

          Or just do as the POTUS does and bypass that ‘antiquated’ group of people.

      • Buckus says:

        Congress will be happily jump on the chance to offer zero-interest loans to businesses, though.

    • pythonspam says:

      The most recent deal involving students was the Continuation of the budget bill that avoided a shutdown in December.
      The bill, HR 3671, draws from ideas put forward in Republican and Democratic spending plans earlier this year: it would preserve the maximum Pell Grant at $5,550, but change the program’s eligibility criteria, making as many as 100,000 of its 9 million recipients ineligible. The grants could be used for a total of 12 semesters, not 18, as in the past — a change that would affect an estimated 62,000 beneficiaries and take effect July 1, 2012. Higher education lobbyists said the limit would apply to any semesters a student was enrolled, rather than only those in which he or she attended full-time, as they had originally thought.

      The maximum amount families could earn and automatically contribute nothing toward an undergraduate education would decrease from $30,000 to $23,000.

      Just one more instance of the ‘Steal from the poor so we can cut taxes for “job-creators”.’

  2. Cat says:

    And thus begins the next economic meltdown.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Thing is, are we really willing to bailout banks again, this time for student loans?

    • Eremis77 says:

      Begun, the Loan Wars have.

      Seriously…if this increase happens, it’s going to really suck for my wife and I, as she’s in a graduate program now, and doubling the rate on her eventual pay back just might bankrupt us.

      • turkishmonky says:

        either way, it still sucks for students during 2007, who are already locked in to the 6.8 rate. (Which went up from about 2.5% for 2006 students).

        Why did they hike the rate in 2007 again?

  3. framitz says:

    Do not keep the rates where they are, put them where they were, before we go any deeper.
    My debt was paid in full and it was a struggle, but worth it in the long run.

    Maybe some of the folks with majors with no job prospects should drop out and find work, or change their major to something other than liberal arts.

    • chefboyardee says:

      Agreed. Suck it up, like the rest of us did, and be happy you qualified for a loan in the first place.

    • catskyfire says:

      Liberal arts majors aren’t unemployable any more than business majors aren’t unemployable. It’s a matter of figuring out how to tell potential employers how your skills will be of use to them. For me, a former history major, it’s about how I can perform research, gather information and present it in concise ways. Or expand on things when needed. A psychology student might do well to push their ability to understand consumers and trends.

      • Fiona says:

        For me, as a former history major, it was about having an ‘Oh S***’ moment in 3rd year when I realised how the world actually worked, changing majors to Computing Science, and now having a great six figure job making video games. Sure it took a little longer in school, and I finished with a lot of student loanage, but it’s nearly paid off now and the investment was well worth it ;-).

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Thinking liberal arts can’t get you a job shows your ignorance.

      • yabdor says:

        Thinking LA arts can get you a good one shows yours.

        • PunditGuy says:

          How about making enough that my wife could stay at home with our daughter for the last five years? An English degree made that happen. My salary plus bonuses put us at about 50% above the median Minnesota household income.

          Is that a good enough job?

        • crispyduck13 says:

          He didn’t say a “good” job.

        • c_c says:

          Most of my ‘liberal arts’ major friends (~8 years out from undergrad) make more money than me, (I majored in engineering). Lawyers, banking, business stuff, marketing, design, politics, etc…

          Of course it’s anecdotal and for one specific university, but really it depends on what you do w/ your undergrad degree, be it in liberal arts, sciences or engineering.

          • yabdor says:

            Wow… that’s the exact opposite of me. All the LA people I know are out of work and are looking at paltry salaries to go with the (part time) McJobs. I’ve no doubt that there are a few exceptions. But as a trend (see the links below) you’ll find that people who get quantitative degrees do better. Much better. If people want to get degrees in Art History that’s certainly ok with me. But I don’t expect to have to shoulder ANY of the cost if they can’t repay their loans. I busted my a** to get my degrees and busted my a** to pay off my loans. Why should I bear any fiscal burden b/c someone makes a poor career choice? As to what’s “good” and what isn’t: I’ll take working 10 years to Dr. English’s 25 any day. And in my book that’s better than “good”. Anyone here want to argue that working for 25 years to get the same money you could have earned in 10 is a desirable thing? Anyone? Beuler?

            • abberz3589 says:

              See, people like you are incredibly difficult to take seriously. Sure, you worked your ass off getting your degree, congratulations- those of us with liberal arts degrees didn’t? I graduated magne cum laude with two degrees and I’m currently working on my masters. My liberal art degrees allow me so much more versatility in the workforce than any specialized or “hard” degree could- I could go into the Foreign Service, go to law school, teach German, teach literature, teach politics, lead political campaigns, teach English in a foreign country, or get my doctorate and be a professor. I could probably get most professional jobs I applied for thanks to the skills I learned through my degrees.

              Looking at my fellow graduates (and this is anecdotal at best, but just to give you an idea) from my class, many of them that graduated with tech degrees are having a difficult time finding a job thanks to a huge amount of others with the same degrees in a limited job market. All of my English major friends are either getting their masters (including myself) with teaching assistantships that cover tuition or were able to find jobs in the professional world that involve a lot of writing, such as PR for large corporations.

              Get off your high horse and join reality.

              • yabdor says:

                The top 24 according to the U.S. Department of Labor:

                1. Surgeon: $181,850
                2. Anesthesiologist: $174,610
                3. OB/GYN: $174,610
                4. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon: $169,600
                5. Internist: $156,790
                6. Prosthodontist: $156,710
                7. Orthodontist: $153,240
                8. Psychiatrist: $151,380
                9. Chief Executive Officer: $140,880
                10. Engineering Manager: $140,210
                11. Pediatrician: $140,000
                12. Family or general practitioner: $137,980
                13. Physician/surgeon, all other: $137,100
                14. Airline Pilot: $134,090
                15. Dentist: $132,660
                16. Podiatrist: $111,130
                17. Lawyer: $110,590
                18. Dentist, any other specialist: $106,040
                19. Air Traffic Controller: $100,430
                20. Computer and Information Systems Manager: $100,110
                21. Marketing Manager: $100,020
                22. Natural Sciences Manager: $97,560
                23. Sales Manager: $96,950
                24. Astronomer: $96,780

                Well what do you know about that.

                And what have we here?

                So… bellyache all you like. The numbers don’t lie. But as a LA major I wouldn’t expect you know anything about that. And clearly you’ve given no indication that you should. So … don’t take me seriously. It’s fine with me. And perhaps 1 day you’ll learn the difference between facts and bravado.

  4. eturowski says:

    I suspect the reason the interest rate is being hiked is to hedge against the number of defaults – but maybe someone in the government needs to consider the fact that THE HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS FIXED before hiking up the rates on the people who can/will repay to cover the increasing number of people who can’t/won’t.

    • TerpBE says:

      The higher education system needs TO BE fixed, obviously.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        As one of the few remaning German children hanging out in Western Pennsylvania among the assorted Poles, Serbs, and Eyetalians, I remember hearing this particular construction.

        “The dog needs to be washed” becomes “The dog needs washed.”
        “You need to be spanked” becomes “You need spanked,” etc.

        This was one of the many WPenn-isms we weren’t allowed to say, along with you’ns, “red up,” and others.

        • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

          Pittsburgher here. And yes, I’ve gone my whole school career through decent schools where this was never even addressed. I think that I was in my twenties before this WPenn-ism was pointed out to me. :( The horror! The shame of not entirely standard language!

          • HSVhockey says:

            Same here, n’at.

            • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

              You too? Maybe we should meet dahntahn at Primanti’s for a sandwich with some fries and a drink.

              • exit322 says:

                Isn’t saying a sandwich with fries redundant if you’re going to Primanti’s?

                As for some of the other things… “the lawn needs mowed” – that’s always how I’ve said it, and I’m born, raised, and still live in central and NE Ohio.

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          I live in Central PA, and I use a lot of these phrases! I grew up hearing them. I still red up the kitchen, the lawn needs mowed, and when I get flustered, sentences like “throw me down the steps the laundry” pop out. If you’re eating supper, and I think you’re eating too much to enjoy pie for dessert, that’s handled by “there’s pie back”. People from outside the neighborhood are “from away”.

          Needless to say, I talk to my family and local friends in a completely different manner than I speak with my domestic and international customers at work.

      • kc2idf says:

        Perfectly legitimate regional dialect. Get over it.

    • eturowski says:

      Oh, hell… I have lived in Ohio for twelve years and now Boston for two, and somehow the Internetlings can pinpoint the city of my birth (Pittsburgh!) by a mere sentence.

    • Snip says:

      This right here. Public schools recruit just as aggressively as private schools, and with a lot of the same disingenuous information about how much more their graduates will supposedly make with their credentials. I was a year into a graduate degee when I realized that credential wasn’t going to be worth the paper it was printed on and I thank my lucky stars I decided to jump out before I got worse in the hole. I only wish I’d figured it out before, but admissions offices can really snow you into thinking there’s a market for what they’re selling. Masters degrees in this country are particularly useless, and especially devious with their recruiting tactics. The whole concept of the Masters degree should be rethought.

    • anti09 says:

      The interest rate is being spiked to make money off students, plain and simple. There’s virtually no risk of default with student loans because they are non-dischargeable, even in Bankruptcy. No risk, no risk premium. They’ll probably say it’s a liquidity premium, but charging nearly 7% off liquidity alone is a joke when credit is incredibly liquid right now.

  5. AngryK9 says:

    Great. Just as I finally start to make progress on the loan, I get to go back to re-owing what I have already paid and more.

  6. Mac says:

    Just remember that Student loans are expempt from bankrupcy except in cases of “Undue Hardship”.

    • mikedt says:

      Exactly. The one debt that is protected through bankruptcy and guaranteed by the government still needs that kind of high rate? Seems like yet another hand out to the same people responsible for the biggest economic collapse ever.

      • hansolo247 says:


        It’s a complete de-coupling of risk and return, sponsored by the US Government, for the benefit of a few, at a cost to many.

        Thing is, why not let the rates float? Mortgage rates do, and they have government guarantees, high defaults, and a semi-free market has those rates at 3%.

        I think that may be a solution other than some decree to set the rate at X%.

      • kc-guy says:

        Yep. A buddy of mine is an out of work airline pilot who went to the best school in the nation is paying PRIME+11. My credit cards are lower than that. I’ve considered paying the bulk of the loan off with a (n unsecured) credit card just to make the world make sense.

  7. az123 says:

    This is not a rate hike, the loans are all issued with a fixed 6.8% interest rate. There was a cut back which had an expiration date set to it, so everyone got a bonus and now are complaining about it?

    Perhaps it needs to be reviewed, but people need to actually understand what is happening… if you are college educated from your loans you need to read the materials they send out about the rate going down and well be happy there was a nearly 5 year reduction in what the rate you contractually agreed to is.

    • milrtime83 says:

      Well they don’t care why they were getting it, but they feel entitled to it now that they were getting it.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Do you have evidence they were told at the time the rates could change? Right, caviet emptor and whatnot, but was any indication given it could change when they got the loans?

  8. Herbz says:

    I say raise it.

    All my loans were 4.5% – 8%. They can handle it.

  9. oldwiz65 says:

    Congress is perfectly content to screw students with loans while giving away billions in tax breaks and outright gifts to the rich and the big banks and wall street.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    “130,000 Students Petition Congress To Not Double Interest Rates On Stafford Loans”

    After Congress ran spell check on the petitions and noticed u instead of you, i instead of I and all the lol’s, they decided to raise the rates anyway.

  11. catskyfire says:

    So, is that 130,000 students or 130,000 voting students…

  12. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    efff it! I just won’t pay it. That will show them!



  13. hikari07 says:

    What is this lower rate business? Every single one of my stafford loans, which I started taking out each semester starting Fall 2007 to May 2011 are at 6.5%.

    Also forgive my lack of loan knowledge, but would doubling your interest rates really impact your cash flow that much? I wouldn’t think your payments would change that much; it’d just cost you more in the long run and take you longer to pay off.

    • hansolo247 says:

      It would be a marginal increase in payments for many, but the amount really depends on what the balance is.

      If they owe $10K, the yearly interest goes from $680 to $340. So, about $30 a month more…not killing anyone, but it’s more. That means it will take a little longer to pay down the loans.

      At $50K, it’s $1700 to $3400 in interest per year…$142 more per month. Of course, if one has $50K in debt, I would hope they have an income that can handle that…unless they just never thought about it.

      At $100K, it’s $280 more per month. Many of the people with this kind of load are Med/Law school graduates, but there’s more than a handful now of people with non-technical Liberal Arts degrees making in the $30’s with that kind of debt. I’d say anyone with a BA with a $100K debt load is probably living large in their lives in general…so they may have to cut back from the BMW they feel they deserve to a 3-year old Hyundai.

      The interest may or may not result in higher monthly payments, as loans can be consolidated and amortized over a longer term, like 20 years. $100K for that length at 6.8% is just over $760 a month. That is actually achievable with some sacrifices…like no new-ish car for a while until an income supports it. Not the best life in the world, but it’s actually manageable for someone with a middling income. But people bitch and moan when they have to sacrifice ANYTHING nowadays.

  14. Fiona says:

    There are better ways to help students than low interest rates. I say up it, and use the extra funds to provide loan relief to students who complete their studies in a timely manner and stick to their payment schedules.

  15. dush says:

    Cheap government loans have flooded the market with students and jacked up the price of education. Let the correction begin.

    • hansolo247 says:

      Yup, but I fear most will just assume the government is the solution to the problem caused by the government.

      It’s like a recursion procedure with no base condition. It will just keep going forever, doing the same thing, forever….until you crash due to running out of resources. Computer Science really does teach you about life.

      • dush says:

        You’re right, a real correction would be the elimination of the govt subsidies altogether rather than just raising the rates.
        It’s not really clear in the articles what is setting that interest rate. Must be just some artificial rate set by law rather than something market driven.

      • chargernj says:

        Actually yes, the government CAN be a solution to the problem caused by the government.

        If you get yourself into financial difficulty, do you ask someone else to fix it for you, or do you make adjustments to how you operate and move forward? Why do you think the government can’t do the same?

        • hansolo247 says:

          Yes, but most think a double-down is the way to go.

          Deficit spending and high debt? Well, more of both will fix that!

          People have too much debt and college is too expensive? Well maybe if we further subsidize things, and allow people to borrow even more money by having some way to write down principals based on income, college will get less expensive!

  16. chatterboxwriting says:

    When I look at our student loan debt, I sometimes wish that my fiancee and I never went to college. I own my own business, which I didn’t even need a degree to start. Sure, I learned things, but I could have started my own business and taken classes at my leisure to learn stuff — I didn’t need to take $22,000 worth of loans. My fiancee pays almost $300/month on his and he’s making $9.75/hour packing boxes. He lost his job in Nov. and he was lucky to get this — but almost 20 percent of his gross pay toward loan payments is a bit much.

    • vliam says:

      Despite the what you read on this message board, you’re not alone. There are many of us with very nice pieces of paper attesting to our qualification for employment in fields that no longer need our services.


  17. dale says:

    I’m paying off Stafford loans at the 6.8% rate. Is there anyway to refinance through Stafford at the 3.4% rate?

  18. Woden says:

    Whoa, I didn’t realize this was going to be happening. I’m suddenly very glad my last loan is going to be taken out this month before the rate possibly goes up. Seriously though if you’re going into a field where you aren’t going to be able to find a job, or the job you do find isn’t going to pay well enough to pay off your loans then you shouldn’t be attempting that major in the first place. If its a major that you absolutely love and must pursue then be ready to invest that extra money into it, and don’t expect the government and therefore all of the taxpayers supporting it to pay for you to make a poor career choice. Sure there are some people this sentiment may not apply to, but in general I feel it is accurate.

    Of all the people I know who are unemployed, struggling to find a job in their field, or are complaining they aren’t getting paid enough at the job there at are none of them have degrees in none of them are people with degrees in any of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) fields. Then again I live in an area filled with military contractors, research facilities, and other such places, so I’m sure that has an effect on the situation. What I can say is that all the people who I do know who can’t find a good job are those with no higher education or those who majored in things like psychology, business, theater, arts, history, etc.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Yeah, the problem with being a geek is that geeks rarely see the big picture.
      Because you see, the problem with the economy is not that people chose the wrong majors; the problem is that there aren’t enough jobs for anybody, anywhere.
      So even if your neck of the woods has a lot of military employment, there are many other parts of the country that don’t have this advantage, and even computer science majors can’t find decent jobs – or any jobs at all.
      And if everybody did go into CS majors, guess what? You wouldn’t have your great job, or you would be making 1/4 what you are now, because there would be too much competition.
      Fortunately there are people left who study liberal arts, because that’s what liberal (in this case liberal means ‘broad’) – studies does, it provides intellectual rigor and the ability to see things broadly and from multiple perspectives, something not gained from memorizing code, no matter how remunerative you may find your opportunities within the military industrial complex.

      • Jayrandom says:

        That’s not the big picture though. Jobs are not what people need, it’s things like food, water, and shelter. It’s not even what people really want, which are things like entertainment, social interaction, and intellectual fulfillment. Having a job can help you pay for those all those things or if you’re lucky even bring you some of them. Having a job for the sake of having a job doesn’t do anything for society, though. In a demand economy, the only way to ensure that labor is put towards its most effective use is to balance the supply of that labor to the demand of that society for those skills.

        I don’t know if you know or have been around college-aged kids recently, but it certainly possible that many of them are choosing their major based solely on their interests without any consideration to the need of society for the skills they’ll be gaining. If so, they aren’t necessarily choosing the right majors or even making the right decisions about where to go or even if they should be in college at all. Of course, unemployment isn’t solely or even predominantly caused by such misallocations, but to suggest it isn’t a problem is wrong.

        I don’t know what colleges you have attended, but engineering programs are generally intellectually rigorous and develop students that are creative and capable of understanding and solving problems. I know that no one ever memorizes code for any reason and that memorization is generally unimportant, at least for in-disciple studies. When the curriculum is dumbed down for out-of-discipline general education courses it can seem like memorization, but good science and engineering never is.

  19. Nunov Yerbizness says:

    Maybe those poor kiddies should change their names to Solyndra.

    Today’s prime interest rate is 3.25%. The interest on the savings account I keep open at my bank just so they don’t charge me fees? 0.1%

    Yeah. 6.8%, that sounds totally fair.

  20. Snip says:

    The interest rate they are talking about here is only the starting point. If you have to ask for relief of any kind it will go up from that point. They are not talking about people whining about a 6.8 percent cap y’all! This is about people who are terrified at how much worse it could get than 6.8 percent if they need to apply for forbearance.

  21. voogru says:

    Lower interest rates usually result in higher principles when the loan is originally made.

    When will people figure this out.

  22. nearly_blind says:

    These stafford loans are not the problem . If every undergrad was smart enough only to use stafford loans and not borrow more than that then whether the interest rate is 3.4% or 6.8% doesn’t really matter that much. As the CNN article states, the difference over ten years of repayment for students who borrow the max of $23K (total) over four years is only $500 per year. Students are not being burdened by these loans which very limited, they’re being burdened by the other unsubsidized loans they taking out without thinking of the consequences.Fixating on these stafford loans is like complaining about a rise in your mobile plan price when you can’t pay your mortgage or rent. Sure it will make a small difference, but its not the core issue.

  23. pika2000 says:

    Who owns congress? The bankers. So shut up and pay up slaves.
    Don’t like it? Then vote out your so-called representatives that are corrupt.

  24. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    And the “government of the people” continues to nail it to the “people” while giving tax breaks to corporations and themselves and their country club golfing buddies.

    Consent of the governed my increasingly rebellious ass.

  25. Cycledoc says:

    Many indebted “students” took loans at the urging of the new class of “college,” the on line private commercial university. These institutions recruit students with the lure of short programs often simple certificate. Many are geared to lure military people with GI education support who are anxious to quickly get on with their lives.

    The education they offer is marginal at best. The cost is comparable to more traditional colleges and universities. To students they offer the benefit of ease of entry–they accept anyone and shorter courses of study. Their effect on our university system is pernicious and degrading.

    The problem they create is that the majority, yes majority of their students receive these loans and the majority of their students don’t complete their studies and are unlikely to repay their indebtedness. Yet congress, to no surprise is unwilling to take on these college’s lobbies and influence.

    Until such college demonstrate their ability to educate and have their students successfully complete courses of study they should not be supported with government loan funding. Playing with interest rates won’t deal with this problem.

  26. vdragonmpc says:

    Please, my wife was a math major with the intent of being a teacher. She doesnt even get an interview. No one is hiring math teachers anywhere around us. We thought there was a ‘shortage’ of math teachers. Schools here require her to have a certification (requires more class time than she has) and praxis 2.

    Me I changed luckily from programming to networking and I have been able to find work. The sad thing is that my field was lied about also. I dont make 6 figures. I make good money but with student loans coming out until the day I die its not enough. My co-workers have no degrees. They simply went out and got ‘certifications’. Funny thing 4 out of 5 certified people I have met could not google their way out of a problem. BUT they make the same pay I do.

    I learned the hard way as has my wife. She really wants to teach but is losing hope that there will be a school that needs her skills.

  27. Sad Sam says:

    Why would interest rates be going up when the bench mark rating is so low? Is it due to the increasing defaults, some other reason? This makes no sense to me.

    Super glad we got Mr. Sam’s MBA paid off in 2007. FYI, he had rolled his loan over into a longer term and was paying interest only. At the rate he was going, he never would have paid it off b/c he didn’t realize he was only paying interest.


  28. ChilisServer says:

    To everyone saying students with worthless degree plans should just drop out and start repaying it, I want you to know that ALL students are having trouble finding work. While it’s true that many students are going to school for “worthless” degrees, with which they will almost certainly be unable to find a job, there are a vast number of students with USEFUL degrees that cannot find a job.

    I’m graduating with a degree in Biology and my husband is graduating with a degree in Physics. Neither one of us has had a callback on any job application we have submitted in the past three months. I’ve applied to literally every job I might remotely be qualified for (and many that I absolutely was not qualified for), but no luck. I’ve applied to jobs like wildlife biologist, dental assistant, food service management, the health department, police forensics departments, and much much more. Nothing.

    It’s not just an issue of having a worthless degree, it’s an issue of no jobs.

  29. Jacob says:

    I thought that you didn’t have to make payments on a stafford loan as long as you kept on being a full time student. Why are the students petitioning? It should be the graduates that are actually paying the interest that should be petitioning.

  30. aleck says:

    I know I will get lots of hate fot this, but we need to underwrite student loans just like mortgages: based on the likelihood of repayment, i.e. degree marketability. If you major in engineering, computer science, business, nursing, etc – the interest is low. If you are majoring in lesbian studies or 17th century Tuvalu poetry – chances are you’ll end up working in Starbucks and default on the loans. So, pay a higher interest.

  31. Jayrandom says:

    Math and science are liberal arts, so physicist isn’t really a good example.
    it’s a strange distinction at some universities to have the chemistry department in the liberal arts school and the chemical engineering department in the school of engineering, but that’s the way it’s done in some places.