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Jason Donofrio,
Arizona PIRG

No 'A' for Effort for U.S. Senate on Student Loan Interest Rates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement of Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for Arizona PIRG, on yesterday’s failure of the U.S. Senate to move debate forward on a bill to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this July:

"It seems safe to say that the thousands of Arizona students who take out federal student loans join our disappointment that the Senate could not pass a bill to keep interest rates from doubling on July 1. Senators who return to their home states and say 'I tried' should be reminded that there is no A for effort. This debate is not about partisan gamesmanship in Washington, but about a potential post-graduation debt increase of $1,000 for every year a student is in school.

Nearly half of Arizona students graduate with student loan debt, which averages more than $18,000 a person; this is a crushing burden made even worse by an uncertain job market. This month, students and their families are receiving financial aid award letters warning of the possible interest rate increase, causing nervousness over the uncertainty.

With the political votes behind them, we urge Senators who are truly concerned about students and the rising cost of higher education to find a bipartisan solution before the July 1 deadline."

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