The bill will retroactively lower interests rates as of July 1, counteracting the earlier doubling of student loan interest rates . As of now, the undergraduate Stafford rate will be 3.86 percent, while the graduate Stafford rate will be 5.41 percent. PLUS loans, which go to parents and graduate students, will be 6.41 percent for the 2013-2014 school year. The legislation will also tie interest rates to market rates and the 10-year Treasury note and cap the interest rates at 8.25 percent for undergraduate loans, 9.5 percent for graduate loans, and 10.5 percent for PLUS loans. These caps are all higher than the current rates.
Although proponents of the bill claim it is a long term solution, opponents have criticized it for likely shouldering future students with higher rates. Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the 16 Democratic Senators who voted against the bill, says that the bill "asks tomorrow's students to pay more in order to finance lower rates today." She proposed an amendment with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) to cap interest rates at current rates, but the amendment failed. Another amendment proposed by Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) to extend the new rates for two years also failed.
Media Resources: Sources: USA Today 7/24/13; Politico 7/24/13; Washington Post 7/24/13; Time 7/1/13; Bloomberg 7/24/13
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .
7/29/2014 Women Just Won Big In Mississippi - Feminist Majority Foundation leaders are elated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law that would have closed the only abortion clinic in the state. . . .