1 million Latino students affected by interest rate hike

By Voxxi View

For Latinos in the United States, a college education is a way out of poverty and a path to prosperity. It is part of the American Dream that many first generation immigrants longed for.

Hispanics students accounted for 1.8 million, or 15 percent, of the overall enrollment of 12.2 million young adults in two or four-year colleges in 2010, according to Pew Hispanic Center. That accounts for 349,000 more Hispanics enrolled in college compared to an increase of 88,000 blacks and 43,000 Asian-Americans and a decrease of 320,000 young whites, reports Pew Hispanic.

But come July 1, about 986,494 Hispanic students who attended college on subsidized Stafford student loans will be hit by an interest rate hike that doubles the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

College graduates, on average, make twice the salary of high school graduates. However, with many college graduates still hunting for a job, the news of a student loan interest rate hike is another stumbling block towards achieving the American Dream.

In 2010, college students averaged $25,000 in student loan debt. The  most recent reports issued by the White House show that student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time in history.

“If Congress doesn’t act before July 1, 2012, interest rates on loans for over 7.4 million students, including 986,494 Hispanic students, will double. And for each year that Congress doesn’t act, students rack up an additional $1,000 in debt over the life of their loans,” reports the White House.

Should the government lower the principal of student loans to ease the burden on students? Tell us in the comments.

This article was first published in Voxxi.

[Photo by: Jason Bache]

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