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House Approves Cut of $12 Billion from Student Aid

Today’s House session proved dismal for students receiving federal loans for their education. 

Budget Reconciliation, an issue which students at UNC Pembroke have been voicing there opposition to since October of last year, passed by a vote of 216 to 214.

Though call in days such as the ones held on campus were successful in rallying student support nationwide, totaling over 30,000 calls to representatives according to the United States Student Association, it was not quite enough to generate enough student support in the House of Representatives.

Out of the 13 member of the House representing North Carolina, there were 7 votes against budget reconciliation coming from:

  • G.K. Butterfield of district 1,
  • Bob Etheridge of district 2,
  • Walter B. Jones of district 3,
  • David E. Price of district 4,
  • Mike McIntyre of district 7,
  • Melvin L. Watt of district 12,
  • Brad Miller of district 13. 

Those members voting in favor of budget reconciliation were:

  • Virginia Foxx of district 5,
  • Howard Coble of district 6,
  • Robin Hayes of district 8,
  • Sue Myrick of district 9,
  • Patrick McHenry of district 10,
  • Charles H. Taylor of district 11.

Because of today’s events, students with education loans, as well as parents with loans for their children will be seeing an increase in interest rates this coming July. 

Currently interest rates for Stafford loans are at a variable rate and are 4.7% for those in school, and 5.3% for those out of school.  In July this interest rate will become fixed at 6.8%. 

PLUS loans, currently at a variable interest rate of 6.1% will be increased to a fixed rate of 8.5% in July.   The result of this increase will be thousands of dollars of extra debt for students and their parents. 

“I am greatly disappointed in the members of House who have voted to approve a $12 billion dollar cut from financial aid” said SGA President Marko Gospojevic.  “It goes to show how much they care for the future of the students.” 

Currently the average student with education loans graduates in unmanageable debt, with monthly payments totaling as much as 8% of their monthly income. 

North Carolina students can now expect an estimated $2,000 more in debt due to today’s vote. 

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
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Updated: Monday, February 27, 2006
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