Keeping Opportunity Within Reach
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Dear Fellow Coloradan,
A college education is the gateway for students to secure high-paying jobs and build a successful future, and as Coloradans, we are lucky to be home to some of the finest higher-educational institutions in the country. But in order to keep opportunity within reach for all Coloradans, we must do everything we can to ensure that the debt students accumulate does not cripple their careers before they even start.
The federal Stafford student loan program helps make college affordable for Colorado's students — but if Congress does not act before July 1, the interest rate on undergraduate Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This increase would leave over 150,000 Colorado college students saddled with even greater debt, forcing the average student loan recipient to pay nearly $4,000 more to finance four years of education.
Substantial, lingering debt is a serious barrier to students being able to join the middle class. And the additional cost of education can force students to drop out of college before they get their degree or to reconsider enrolling to begin with. We need an educated workforce to keep good-paying, sustainable jobs in Colorado. With our economy still recovering, Congress should be arming our students with the tools to succeed, not placing roadblocks on their paths to prosperity.
From Colorado State University to Fort Lewis College, to Colorado Mesa University to Metropolitan State University of Denver, students across Colorado rely on Stafford loans to pay for their education. We must keep college affordable and accessible for all Coloradans — our economic future depends on it.