SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Quiet walkways and empty hallways are a sign it’s summer break for Missouri State University students. But, it’s not vacation time for the staff.
“It’s a pretty constant business. It doesn’t give you much time for a breather in between,” said Vicki Mattocks, director of MSU’s financial aid services department. ““Somebody always needs help.”
When students return for the new semester next month, many will be paying more, at least in in the long run.
In recent days, Congress had been debating federal student loan interest rates. However, lawmakers couldn’t not come up with a deal. So, on Monday, rates on new federal student loans doubled, from 3.4% to 6.8%,
“It’s really not something you have any control over, so you just adapt- you adapt accordingly,” said Allisha Shanks, a junior at MSU.
Students like Allisha aren’t enthused about the changes, which are tacking-on an average of $2,600 in interest per $20,000 borrowed.
“If you have to take out student loans and get through school, you are going to do it regardless,” Shanks said.
“While they are in school, they know they need the money, they need the assistance in order to finish things. And, that is what they are thinking of,” said Mattocks.
It’s only out of sight, out of mind for the moment. That bigger loan bill will eventually come due, one. two, or four years into the future.
“So, during that time, they are going to notice the difference and understand the repercussions then,” Mattocks said.
“I don’t think it will impact the amount of students taking out student loans, but it may cause them to think a little bit farther into the future,” said Shanks.
Lawmakers will reconvene after the July 4th holiday. Many are holding out hope they can take the issue back up, reach a compromise, and get the loan rates back down in time for the start of school.