AACRAO joined a series of higher education community letters (attached) to address legislation in both the House and Senate aimed at tackling the student loan interest rate issue.
The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911) would treat the subsidized and unsubsidized portions of the Stafford federal student loan the same, pegging their interest rates to the
10-year Treasury rate. It would also cap the rates to protect borrowers against
anomalies. Although we agree that changes need to be made to address a long-term
plan, we have some concerns some of its provisions and their impact on
The Senate's Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 953) would maintain the
current 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized student loans for another two
years, temporarily stalling the planned July 1 increase on July 1 until the
issue can be considered in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The
legislation would pay for the extension through changes to tax law affecting
retirement accounts, the oil industry and tax deductions for foreign
We believe that lawmakers are motivated to reach a reasonable compromise on this matter, but the battle is just beginning. The House is scheduled for a floor vote on H.R. 1911 tomorrow. We will keep you updated.