LITTLE ROCK, AR-- Interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans double July 1. The rate goes from 3.4 percent to 6.8.
The spike happened because Congress failed to reach a deal on the issue, which means students will be paying more money back.
Stephanie Higginbotham is a freshman at University of Central Arkansas and the rate increase worries her. She says the new rate is a form of punishment from lawmakers.
"They've always stressed that higher education is important and you're getting penalized for doing that because college is so expensive," said Higginbotham.
Congress is expected to take up the issue again July 10 and the rates could return to 3.4 percent.
UCA leaders say the increase is concerning.
"So if a student is coming in for summer school and they are just not applying for that loan, the interest rate will be 6.8 percent whereas a week ago it would have been 3.4 percent.," said financial aid director Cheryl Lyons.
Some students say education is important and are willing to do what is necessary.
"Don't put more on your plate than you can eat," said UCA student Durrell Green.
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