President Obama finished off his two-day, three-stop tour of college campuses today, after delivering soaring speeches on student loan interest rates that quickly veered into an all-out appeal for students’ support. The President made stops at the University of North Carolina, Colorado and the University of Iowa.
Michelle and I, we’ve been in your shoes,” he said. “We didn’t come from wealthy families. When we graduated from college and law school, we had a mountain of debt.”
Obama won 66% of the 18- to 29-year-old vote in 2008, exit polls showed. according to data from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Obama’s speeches this week are billed as official White House events with a legislative goal: getting Congress to vote by July 1 to block federal student loan interest rates from doubling.
According to the White House, the average student loan debt is $25,000 and on the rise, and Americans now owe more tuition debt than credit card debt. Obama’s proposal would affect 7.4 million students, saving them an average of about $4,000 over the lifetime of four years’ worth of federally subsidized Stafford loans.
The rates on those loans were reduced to 3.4 percent in 2007, but they are scheduled to double for new loans on July 1. Democratic lawmakers in both chambers have proposed bills that would extend current rates another year, but some Republicans have resisted the $6 billion price tag.