Congresswoman Jackie Speier speaks to SF State seniors about student loan debt

In an effort to raise student voices in the fight against the pending increase in student loan interest rates, Congresswoman Jackie Speier paid a visit to SF Statetoday to meet with students.

Congresswoman Speier
Congresswoman Jackie Speier had a closed door meeting with faculty and students at SF State about maintaning interest rates for student loans May 1, 2012. Photo by Nelson Estrada.

The congresswoman met with 15 seniors at SF State who could be impacted by the doubling of the interest rates on Stafford loans, which will take effect on July 1, unless legislation passes to supplement the shortfall in the budget.

The students who met with the congresswoman were selected by the University after the financial aid office emailed 639 seniors who receive Stafford loans, according to Barbara Hubler, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid.

SF State fifth-year senior Tiffany Rapier, 30, who had the opportunity to speak with the congresswoman, said she RSVP’d to the email the same day she received it to secure her spot.

One of the solutions Speier proposed was to end subsidies for oil companies to cover the budget shortfall. She also encouraged students to voice their opinions to student associations.

“Marches are a great thing,” Speier said. “San Francisco State is not a campus that is shy to action.”

According to President Robert A. Corrigan, there is currently $1 trillion in federal student debt, more than the amount of credit card and auto loans combined.

“The increase in student loan debt affects society,” Corrigan said. “If graduates have that much debt when they graduate, they don’t become a public defender or a family practitioner because they have to pay off those loans, and we all get hurt.”