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  • NAACP Says No To Confederates 1, February27, 2015
    Should Confederate soldiers from Florida be recognized as Veterans enshrined in the state’s hall of fame? Matt Galka first told us about the story earlier this month, and now tells us the NAACP is saying no. We first brought you the unique story of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans asking Florida’s Governor and Cabinet […]
    Matt Galka
  • Solar Wars 1, February26, 2015
    A dust up between solar advocates and a state Senator is erupting on the eve of the annual legislative session. The fight is a window into the often unintended consequences in state politics. At the center is legislation that would allow greater use of solar resources, but advocates worry utilities could end up being the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Ray Sansom Gets Day in Court 1, February26, 2015
    Former House Speaker Ray Sansom of Destin spent the day in a Tallahassee courtroom. He and his lawyer are arguing they deserve more than 817 thousand dollars in legal fees stemming from criminal charges later dropped that alleged Samson misrepresented a six million dollar item in the state budget when he was appropriations chairman. The […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Housing Funds Getting Slashed Because of Amendment 1? 1, February26, 2015
    Affordable housing funds could be taking a hit this year, and as Matt Galka tells us, it could be because of environmental amendment 1. But both sides say that isn’t fair. Theo Anderson was down on his luck, inured, and living with two children in a run down home before state housing assistance helped him […]
    Matt Galka
  • Test Anxiety Take Two 1, February26, 2015
    Despite complaints from School Superintendents, teachers and parents, the state says new statewide testing that begins Monday will count toward school grades and teacher evaluations. This is not the first time testing changes have been an issue. The Florida Student Assessment test replaces the FCAT this year. Some testing begins as early as Monday. And […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Tax Dodging 1, February25, 2015
    Who’s really paying for Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, a new report about the state’s biggest companies says its not them, and they’re dodging taxes.   Florida’s Governor makes his agenda pretty clear. “The most important thing you can do to change lives is give someone a job,” said Rick Scott at January’s inauguration. […]
    Matt Galka
  • Testing Anxiety Hits Home 1, February24, 2015
    Florida’s testing scheme is getting a “D” or an “F” from a majority of parents, teachers and school employees. The results of the online survey sow the frustration of parents as Governor Rick Scott cancelled one test and is asking lawmakers to  consider eliminating others. Rick Scott’s executive order suspends the Florida Standards English Assessment […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • A New Retirement Problem Down the Road? 1, February24, 2015
    New data suggests that Florida could have another crisis for retirees on its hands. As Matt Galka tells us, it goes beyond local pensions and into the world of healthcare. Pension problems have been ongoing in the state. Unfunded liability for local governments have put future benefit burdens on taxpayers.  The problem is so bad […]
    Matt Galka
  • Big Sugar Buy? 1, February23, 2015
    Everglades advocates opened up what could be a legislative session – long fight over funding.  As Matt Galka tells us, the push is on for the state to make a land buy…and time is running out. Environmentalists are making a full court press and will attempt to get the Governor and the legislature to buy […]
    Matt Galka
  • Pennsylvania Paper Declares War on Rick Scott Jobs “Poaching” 1, February20, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott will spend Monday and part of Tuesday in Pennsylvania, his first trip since being reelected to try and recruit businesses to move here, But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, he’s getting a cold reception in more ways than one. One of the major themes of Rick Scott’s second inaugural was his continuing […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Student Loan Debt Passes A Trillion Dollars

May 8th, 2012 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Republicans in the US Senate stopped a debate on student loan interest rates earlier today. If congress doesn’t take action by July, interest rates will double to nearly seven percent. As Whitney Ray tells us, student loan debt nationwide is at a trillion dollars and growing.

Student loan debt passed the trillion dollar mark Tuesday morning according to finaid.org. In Florida, half of all college students graduate with debt. The average amount is 21-thousand dollars. Nationwide the average is 25-thousand.

The housing crisis is partially to blame for the recent spike in student loan debt. In the past families would sometimes borrow against their homes to pay for school, but with property values falling, banks aren’t as willing to take the risk.

But nearly no one is turned down for a student loan, and the money isn’t just for tuition. Some of it pays for room, board and even entertainment. While the debt grows, congress is being asked to freeze student loan interest rates. If they don’t act by July rates will double to 6.8 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden visited FSU earlier this year, and promised to lower college costs, but at least one student objected arguing that government assistant was driving prices higher.

“It creates this perpetual problem where tuition keeps going up so we give more subsidies and tuition goes back up and we give more subsidies,” said Lawrence Dunn who has 20-thousand dollars in debt.

Ed Moore, a member of Florida’s Higher Education Coordinating Council disagrees. Moore says Congress needs to freeze rates. And that 6.8 percent is artificially high.

“There is no economic justification, no market justification for an interest rate to be 6.8 percent,” said Moore.

Moore also says despite the rising cost, a college degree is still worth the debt. The state doesn’t keep records on the total amount students in Florida owe. It also has no financial obligation if a student can’t pay back the money. The debt stays with the borrower, because Federal law prevents people from shedding student loan debt, even if they declare bankruptcy.

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