College students hopeful congress will roll back interest on student loans

WASHINGTON - More than 7 million college students across the nation are hoping congress will roll back interest rates of federal student loans as lawmakers return to Capitol hill Monday.

The rate of new subsidized loans shot up from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent starting July 1.

Students will not have to pay the new higher loan rate until the start of the new semester, leaving lawmakers just a few more weeks to come up with a solution.

Student loan debt stands at about $1 trillion, more than auto loans and credit card debt.

The 2007 recession was the "game changer" that accelerated loan defaults and unemployment rates for college graduates.

Fueled by skyrocketing college costs and fewer jobs with stagnant wages in the workplace, some wonder if the high cost of a college degree is even worth it.

"The reason you go to college is so you can live more fully in your time, but you're not going to live more fully in your time if you're living in your parents basement or under a bridge in a shopping cart," said Anthony Carnevale, of Georgetown University.  "College is so expensive now it has to be treated like an investment. It's really the first investment that young people make in their lives."

Lawmakers are confident they will be able to come to an agreement on lowering the interest rates, since they have other pressing issues on the table, such as immigration reform.

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