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More than 1,000 professors voice support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's student loan bill

Posted by Your Town  July 10, 2013 04:33 PM

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More than 1,000 professors have voiced their support for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill to let students borrow loans at the same rate that large banks pay to the Federal Reserve, which she says is at about .75 percent.

A petition on the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s website has garnered signatures from more than 1,000 professors at 568 schools in the US. The letter calls on Congress “to make college accessible to all Americans by passing bold education policies -- beginning with Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill.”

“The long-term rising cost of college demands a bold solution. Some of us have seen smart students with a bright future forced to drop out due to the high cost of higher education,” the letter says. “This hurts them and America’s economic future. Education should be available to everyone -- it’s the most important investment we can make in our nation.”

“The federal government is going to charge interest rates nine times higher than the rates they charge the biggest banks, the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy,” Warren said on the floor in May.

“If the Federal Reserve can float trillions of dollars to large financial institutions at low interest rates to grow the economy, surely they can float the Department of Education the money to fund our students, keep us competitive, and help grow our middle class,” Warren said.

Progressive organizations including MoveOn, Democracy for America, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, have collectively garnered more than 618,000 signatures in support of the bill.

Senate Democrats were unable to restore lower interest rates on student loans today, meaning that undergraduates are still in jeopardy of paying double the amount in student loan rates -- from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

‘‘Today, we failed. And our nation’s students pay the cost of that failure,’’ Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. said following the vote.

Watch: Warren's floor speech about student loans on Monday:

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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