Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today said that an estimated 200,000 Minnesota students could see their student loan interest rates double in the 2012-2013 school year unless Congress takes action. On July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8%, costing Minnesota students thousands of dollars in increased interest payments. Klobuchar is cosponsoring legislation, The Student Loan Affordability Act, which would prevent the rate hike and ensure that college remains affordable.

“Higher education provides students with the skills needed to be competitive in today’s global economy and creates a gateway to well paying careers. But rising costs for education are putting a strain on Minnesota families and students, and burdening students with thousands of dollars in additional debt is simply unacceptable,” Klobuchar said.“Congress needs to take action and pass this legislation to block the rate hike and ensure that education remains affordable for students in Minnesota and across the country so we can stay competitive in the global economy.”

Subsidized Stafford loans are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, and technical school.