Up With Steve Kornacki, 7/6/13, 8:32 AM ET

Congress lets student loan rates double

Congress allowed interest rates on new subsidized Stafford student loans to double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. Lawmakers in both parties have promised to lower the rate for students with financial need before they borrow for the coming school year, but so...

Higher student loan rates are only part of the higher education crisis

Updated

Student loan rates doubled from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1, and while the Senate is set to vote Wednesday on a plan to bring Stafford loan rates back down before students return to school in the fall, the fundamental problem of how to pay the ballooning prices for higher education still needs to be addressed.

“We have to decide how we are going to fund students to be able to go to college,” panelist L. Joy Williams said on Saturday’s Up with Steve Kornacki. “We have to change out that model.”

Tuition costs continue to rise at alarming rates, and as young people struggle to find jobs, the potential effect on generations of students could be severe. Seven million students are expected to take out loans this fall.

Some states are already looking for new ways to fund higher education; in Oregon, there is a proposal that would allow students to attend public colleges tuition-free in exchange for a guarantee that they would pay the state a percentage of their incomes after they finish school. Could this “pay it forward” model be the future?

Watch the whole discussion above.

Higher student loan rates are only part of the higher education crisis

Updated