Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Obama talks student loans, debt with ASM in teleconference

President Barack Obama talked to students and politicians across the country, including Mayor Paul Soglin and Associated Students of Madison leaders, about the importance of managing federal student loan interest rates on a White House conference call Monday.

Obama and members of his cabinet emphasized the importance of students’ role in influencing the debate over interest rates, according to Associated Students of Madison Vice Chair and participant Maria Giannopoulos.

“I think it was really effective…you’re not going to make an impact [on legislators] unless you actually go talk to them, send them an e-mail, or give them a call,” Giannopoulos said.

American students’ combined loan debt recently topped $1 trillion. With the interest rate of subsidized Stafford federal loans set to double in July, the average Wisconsin student would owe an additional $968, according to the mayor’s office.

Obama urged students to support the efforts of Democrats in Congress to maintain interest rates. Senate Republicans blocked a vote Tuesday on a Democratic bill that would have funded a one-year extension of the current interest rate with tax revenue from wealthy Americans, in an effort to ease the repayment burden for college graduates.

Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Herb Kohl, D-Wis., voted against and for the bill, respectively, along party lines.

Johnson said in a statement he opposed the bill because it was “the wrong approach,” and didn’t address the issue of rising college costs.

Giannopoulos said the lesson from Tuesday’s vote and the conference call was the importance of increasing student awareness of the issue on campus. She hopes to follow last week’s ASM-sponsored demonstration against loan debt with plans for students to wear T-shirts emblazoned with their own student debt figures, as well as collaboration with the Office of Student Financial Aid.

“Some people on this campus have zero student loan debt, [others] have an astronomical amount,” she said. “Acknowledging that there’s a problem for students is really important.”

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal