Students, Rep. Barbara Lee urge lower student-loan interest rates

Students with U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee

Second-year student Brittany Kitchen, a double major in psychology and economics, joined U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau at a press conference today (Wednesday, May 2) to urge Congress to extend the 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford loans, the federally subsidized low-interest loans available to college students. Without Congressional action, the rate will double to 6.8 percent on July 1. Birgeneau, who introduced Lee, said that a doubling of the interest rate would increase the indebtedness of UC Berkeley students by $1,000, on average, over the life of the loan. Freshman Lilly Adams, an environmental studies major from Seattle, stands behind Kitchen, while Mills College President Alecia DeCoudreaux is to the left. Lee, Birgeneau and the students were also joined by Leroy Morishita, president of California State University, East Bay, and William Hynes, president of Holy Names University in Oakland. (Jean Smith photo)