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Scott rips Congress for student loan hike

by John Kennedy | July 1st, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott ripped Congress for allowing interest rates on some federal student loans to double Monday, saying it was “irresponsible” for lawmakers to go on July 4 recess without reaching a compromise.

“Doubling the interest rate on federal college loans effectively kills the chance for many Florida families to live the American Dream,” Scott said. “This is equivalent to a $936 tax on Florida families per loan each year.

He added, “As I call for Florida’s colleges and universities to hold the line on tuition, Washington bureaucrats must come back to work together on behalf of Florida’s families and students.”

About 7.4 million university students effectively saw rates on their federal Stafford loans jump to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent on Monday, after the Senate was unable to reach agreement on extending the lower rate.  The Obama administration and most Democrats had been expecting more fiscally conservative Republican leaders to abandon the student loan standoff had they had last year, when they agreed to continue 3.4 percent rate another year.

The interest rate difference will add an extra $2,600 cost per-student, analysts said. About one-quarter of all federal student loans are affected.

Although Scott allowed tuition to climb in Florida his first two years as governor, this spring he vetoed a 3 percent college and university tuition hike approved by state lawmakers. He then lobbied schools and the State University System’s Board of Governors to work to reject a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase that automatically kicked in, although only Florida Atlantic University and Florida Gulf Coast University agreed to offset the boost.

“Florida’s students and families now face higher education costs because Washington bureaucrats were unable to work together on behalf of America’s students,” Scott said. “Fewer students will now be able to attend college and get jobs that require
degrees because Washington chose politics over our families.”

Lawmakers, however, have said they can return the interest rates to 3.4 percent when they  return after the July 4 holiday. The Republican-led House passed a bill before leaving town tying  student loan interest rates to the financial markets, but the Democratic-controlled Senate was ensnared in a procedural matter that halted action.

A study released last year showed 49 percent of Florida public university graduates owed money when they finished school.

The average $21,184 debt for Florida students in 2010 was below the $25,250 national average, according to the Project on Student Debt by the Institute for College Access & Success.

Florida ranked 42nd among states in the percentage of students graduating with debt.


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25 Responses to “Scott rips Congress for student loan hike”

  1. bito63 Says:

    TRICKY RICK SNOT still beleives he has a chance at re-election by saying this, Start packing your bags, No matter what you say or do, Your days are numbered.

  2. Educator Says:

    To him and the rest of the Republican Tea Party:


  3. Dave Johnson Says:

    And the Academy Award for best actor goes to…

  4. old days Says:

    Yeah, I am sure he is really concerned about the average Floridian.

  5. Joe Says:

    Where were you when they keep raising our home owners insurance?

  6. Downtown Danny Says:



  7. TheNoSpinMan Says:

    His comment is rather hipocritical.

    The government needs to stop subsidizing everything. Everytime the government intervenes it just makes matters worse. Politicians promise you anything just to get reelected. Universities see these loans as easy money and just continue to increase tuition faster than the rate of inflation.

  8. TheNoSpinMan Says:

    I have news for Downtown Danny. May as well not vote at all. You see, corruption and lies have no party affiliation.

  9. TrafficAvenger Says:

    Chances are I will vote against someone before I will vote for someone.

    Rick Scott. Here’s your sign.

  10. Deb Says:

    Must be election time! Rick Scott is defending Floridans instead of screwing them! WOW!

  11. Mike Says:

    “Scott rips Congress for student loan hike”

    How many Floridians want to rip Rick Scott for not creating jobs and doing nothing for the state for his first 3 years in office?

  12. Hitlery is TRASH! Says:

    Have no fear, the empty suit lying traitor Obozo just pledged $7 billion for Africa—UP YOURS AMERICA!

  13. Cheeseus Sonofdog Says:

    He should be more worried about our elderly who are getting ZERO percent on their lifes savings. Meanwhile government lies about inflation, and many things like food and gas have doubled in just five years. The Fed has been suppressing rates for the responsible.

    Students will not suffer. They already pay an average of 15% for a new credit card and 7% for an auto loan. Those are market rates.

  14. Dick scott Says:

    hmmm. my house insurance skyrocketed to a 75% increase in 2 years. Rick scott hasnt mentioned one thing about this epidemic. Republicans are insurance slaves, so tired of their BS

  15. jac Says:

    No different than over testing seniors for your financial gain.

  16. Thomas Says:

    Scott had no problem with a 3% tax hike for every public worker in the state, while passing it off as necessary to sustain the retirement system. Scott then gave the 3% to corporations in the form of tax breaks, while lowering the states contributions to the retirement system, which did nothing but harm the system. Typical republican spin.

  17. spence Says:

    So he suddenly cares about students and teachers. He must be running a fever. Re-election fever.

  18. Tea Lady Says:

    Thank you Governor Scott, for your leadership on education!

    Governor Scott has wisely made education a priority!

    It is such a tragedy that Citizen’s Insurance, that Big Government Boondoggle has sapped the money that could be used for education! Let’s do the right thing for our children — depopulate and dismantle Citizen’s Insurance!

    Governor Scott 2014!! :-)

  19. priorities Says:

    If he were concerned about the average Floridian he would do something about something he DOES HAVE some control over. The G.D house insurance and FPL increases. These companies have a rubber stamp from the PSC and they are killing us and pushing people out of their house and new home owners out of the market.

  20. David Says:

    If Scott were really concerned about tuition rates and college costs, he would have stopped cutting the budgets for higher ed. Students are paying more because the state is paying less. And before the Tea Lady goes off on one of her irrational rants, state support of education is support for the future. The next Einstein might be a low-income person who could never go to college if it were not state-subsidized. Citizens has nothing to do with funding for higher ed, and it’s in much better shape than Republicans care to admit.

  21. Tea Lady Says:

    @David –

    Beg pardon, but who $upplied the up-front capital to start Citizen’s Insurance and keep it running?

    Answer: We The Taxpayer of The Great State of Florida!

    That’s money that could be returned to the budget once Citizen’s in dismantled, to fund further tax relief for our Job Creators and better educational opportunities for our children! =-)

    Let’s rally around Governor Scott to dismantle Citizen’s Insurance and return the money to the people to whom it belonged — The Taxpayers! =-)

    Join The Tea Party! Unlike so-called “liberals”, we use our common sense to solve problems without resorting to raising taxes! =-)

  22. Repubtallygirl Says:

    The House of Representatives passed a bill in May that would have not allowed the percentage rate to go up.
    The Democrats in the Senate have decided NOT to take up the bill.

    As much as the Scottderangementhaters are commenting in here, you cannot dispute the facts. Unemployment is down and Gov Scott has done EXACTLY what he campaigned on. He is doing a great job.

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