As Congress decides this week whether to allow federal student loan interest rates to double, students and college administrators in Washington state say loans are one of many concerns about the cost of college.
The director of financial aid at Western Washington University says the interest rate increase would have the greatest impact on the neediest students, because they generally borrow the most.
About 5,500 Western students took out around $24 million in student loans last year. About 1,400 students at each of the surrounding community colleges borrowed millions more.
College administrators told Congressman Rick Larsen, who called the Tuesday conference, that students are getting hit financially from all directions. They face higher tuition, not enough financial aid, fewer work study jobs and more difficulty finding jobs after graduation.