AUFC - Marissa Serafino, Student Body President of St. Anselms College, Calls on Congress Not to Double Student Loan Rates

200 Student Government Presidents Call for Action on Student Debt and Interest Rates

[Washington, DC] Two hundred student body presidents representing over 2.5 million college students released a letter today, calling on Congress to begin addressing the overall increase in student debt by preventing interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling this summer. For every year Congress fails to act, most college students will incur $1,000 more debt at a time when student debt and youth unemployment are at an all-time high.

The letter, started by the current and incoming Tulane University student body presidents, calls on Congressional leaders to “make a serious commitment to fix how we finance college in America,” starting with bipartisan action to maintain current student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent.

With one out of every two college graduates unemployed or underemployed and the average student graduating with over $25,000 in debt, student leaders across the country have been quick to call on President Obama and Congressional leaders to prevent student debt from increasing even further.

“It’s about young consumers,” said Andy MacCracken, Associate Director of the National Campus Leadership Council. “The amount of debt we’re accumulating just to get through school seriously threatens our generation’s prosperity.”

The letter urges Congress to save Stafford interest rates as the first of many comprehensive steps to reduce the amount of debt students and their families have to take on.

“Ultimately, we need bold, bipartisan steps to address the systemic problems that are driving up the cost of college. That conversation needs to start now,” the presidents said in the letter.

The signature drive is being organized by the National Campus Leadership Council. The letter will remain open to all current college student body presidents for signature until a bipartisan bill is signed into law.

To view the letter and see which college student body presidents have signed on, go to or see below.


Created in 2011, The National Campus Leadership Council empowers student leaders to engage in a national dialogue by facilitating communication among students and developing connections with policymakers.  NCLC’s network is comprised of over 200 student body presidents representing more than 2.5 million students at colleges and universities around the country. NCLC serves as both a sounding board for federal policy and a springboard for national student initiatives.

The Honorable Speaker John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Leader Harry Reid
U.S. Senator
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

May 1, 2012

Dear President Obama, Leader Reid, Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Leader Pelosi:

On behalf of 197 student body presidents representing over 2.5 million college students around the country, we write to request that you act to improve the fast-deteriorating state of student debt in the nation. Recently student loan debt topped $1 trillion nationwide with the average student graduating more than $25,000 in debt. The nation needs real bipartisan action to address this problem long term.

On July 1st, the subsidized Stafford loan interest rate will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.  Student loan debt is already too high, and inaction will put most borrowers $2,800 further in debt. The neediest students will owe $5,000 more over their repayment period. In an uncertain economy, we simply cannot afford to accumulate more debt.

Youth unemployment is the highest it has been since the 1940s, causing even greater barriers to repaying loans. While college graduates fare better in the job market than those without a college degree, an increasing number of graduates are defaulting on their loans, damaging their credit early on.  Nearly 9 percent of borrowers who started repaying their loans in 2009 defaulted in the first two years.

This is an issue about young consumers. Increasing interest rates to 6.8 percent will cause more students and parents to seek riskier private loans. This will make a bad situation worse. The federal student loan programs offer a fixed interest rate while private loans have variable interest rates with terms that make them much pricier and harder to pay off over the long term.

There has long been a promise that, if a student goes to college, works hard, and does well, they will have a more prosperous future ahead of them. Student loan debt is severely undermining that prospect.

Ultimately, we need bold, bipartisan steps to address the systemic problems that are driving up the cost of college. That conversation needs to start now. We hope action on extending the 3.4 percent Stafford loan interest rate is the first of many steps in a real effort to address the level of student debt and reduce the excessive need for borrowing. The long term economic health of the nation and the future
prosperity of a generation depend on your actions. Now is the time to make a serious commitment to fix how we finance college in America. This starts with protecting the current student loan interest rates.


The undersigned SGA presidents

Brandon Rook, Alcorn State University, MS
Marcus Mercy, Alcorn State University, MS
Tim McBride, American University, DC
Elliot Bell-Krasner, American University, DC
Christopher Collins, Arapahoe Community College, CO
Jacob Goulding, Arizona State University, AZ
Chris Wilkey, Ball State University, IN
Jessica Blank, Barnard College, NY
Brandon Anderson, Bellevue College, WA
Rocky Maier, Black Hill State University
Dexter McCoy, Boston University, MA
Howard Male, Boston University, MA
Herbie Rosen, Brandeis University, MA
Anthony White, Brown University, RI
Ralanda Nelson, Brown University, RI
Napolean Carroll, Butler University, IN
Mike Keller, Butler University, IN
Brian Klosterboer, Centre College, KY
Laura Maloney, Colby College, ME
Justin Kawcak, Colorado Mesa University, CO
Nicholas Lopez, Colorado Mesa University, CO
Marco Sanchez, Colorado Northwestern Community College, CO
Regina Martel, Colorado State University, CO
Eric Berlinberg, Colorado State University, CO
Isaiah McGregory, Colorado State University-Pueblo, CO
Maritza Essis, Connecticut College, CT
Natalie Raps, Cornell University, NY
Kayle Mozingo, Cuesta College, CA
Jessica Horton, Delaware State University, DE
Shelbe Hudson, Delaware State University, DE
Jeanna Wilkes, Delta State University, MS
Alanna Ferguson, Delta State University, MS
Anthony Alfano, DePaul University, IL
Gregory Larson, Drake University, IA
Pete Schork, Duke University, NC
Ashley Vogts, Emporia State University, KS
John Pinel, Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ
Robert Huffman, Florida Atlantic University, FL
Peter Cuderman, Florida Gulf Coast University, FL
Cristin "Cici" Battle, Florida International University, FL
Sholom Neistein, Florida International University, FL
Tyler Thompson, Fort Hays State University, KS
Kyle Calvin, Fort Hays State University, KS
Alexander Williams, George Mason University, VA
John Richardson, George Washington University, DC
Clara Gustafson, Georgetown University, DC
Mike Meaney, Georgetown University, DC
Andrew Ferreira, Gettysburg College, PA
Nick Ely, Grand Canyon University, AZ
Knute Gailor, Hamilton College, NY
Danny Bicknell, Harvard University, MA
Brittney Foxhall, Howard University, DC
J. Kyle Straub, Indiana University-Bloomington, IN
Brian Wilks, Jackson State University, MS
Matthew Klein, James Madison University, VA
Evan Gildennblatt, Kent State University, OH
Mario Parker-Milligan, Lane Community College, OR
Amir Salehzadeh, Las Positas College, CA
Brandon Fry, Longwood University, VA
Daniel Campos, Los Angeles Mission College, CA
Sean Vera, Loyola University-Chicago, IL
Khaled Badr, Loyola University-New Orleans, LA
Nicholas Russo, Lyndon State College, VT
Nicholas Huber, Miami University, OH
John Stefanski, Miami University, OH
Leah Graves, Miles College, AL
Kendall Gregory, Millsaps College, MS
Virginia Cassel, Milwaukee Area Technical College, WI
Kimberly Ehrlich, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, MN
Leander Williams, Mississippi University for Women, MS
Scott Turk, Missouri State University, MO
Selin Acar, Missouri University of Science and Technology, MO
Ryan Beck, Missouri University of Science and Technology, MO
Glenn Means, Morehead State University, KY
Jeremiah Johnson, Murray State University, KY
Mike Long, New College of Florida, FL
Blaise Caudill, Northern Arizona University, AZ
Mariam Adbelhamid, Old Dominion University, VA
Peter Khoury, Penn State University, PA
Courtney Lennartz, Penn State University, PA
Nate Brown, Pomona College, CA
Joe Rust, Purdue University, IN
Brett Highley, Purdue University, IN
Jessie Martin, Purdue University Calumet, IN
Emily redd, Radford University, VA
Barbara Cannell, Raritan Valley Community College, NJ
Jerry Neihmer, Red Rocks Community College, CO
Yousef Salef, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ
Joseph Hassine, Saddleback College, CA
Lyndsay Robinson, Saint Anselm College, NH
Marissa Serafino, Saint Anselm College, NH
Michael Cash, San Diego City College, CA
Carrie Ryan, Sewanee: University of the South, TN
Hassan Harrisa, Southern Oregon University, OR
Brian Ellison, Southern Polytechnic State University, GA
Mark Wilson, St. Louis Community College-Meramec, MO
Donna Brandy, St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, MO
Derrick Varner, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, MO
Michael Cruz, Stanford University, CA
Dylan Lustig, Syracuse University, NY
Colin Saltry, Temple University, PA
Ryan Fecteau, The Catholic University of America, DC
Jaymie Roybal, The University of New Mexico, NM
Natalie Butler, The Universityof Texas at Austin, TX
Cody Willmind, The University of Texas at Dallas, TX
Xavier Johnson, The University of Texas at San Antonio, TX
Michael Lewis, Tulane University, LA
Evan Nicoll, Tulane University, LA
AJ Daniels, University of Alaska Southeast-Juneau Campus, AK
Alejandra Buitrago, University of Alaska-Anchorage, AK
Ryan Buchholdt, University of Alaska-Anchorage, AK
Tori Pohlner, University of Arkansas, AR
Michael Dodd, University of Arkansas, AR
Simone Lewis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR
Rebecca Sterling, University of California-Davis, CA
Emily Resnick, University of California-Los Angeles, CA
Erik Gree,n University of California-Santa Cruz, CA
Austin Hall, University of Central Arkansas, AR
Youssef Kalad, University of Chicago, IL
Alan Hagerty, University of Cincinnati, OH
William Taylor, University of Colorado-Boulder, CO
Brittni Hernandez. University of Colorado-Boulder, CO
Jarod Gray. University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, CO
Ervis Fama, University of Detroit Mercy, MI
Cedric Bandoh, University of Houston, TX
Samantha Perez, University of Idaho, ID
Brock Gebhardt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
Nicholas Pottebaum, University of Iowa, IA
Micah Fielden, University of Kentucky, KY
Stephen Bilas. University of Kentucky, KY
Ashley Mudd, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA
Kurtis Frizzell, University of Louisville, KY
Samantha Zwerling, University of Maryland-College Park, MD
Kaiyi Xie, University of Maryland-College Park, MD
Brandon Mitchell, University of Miami, FL
Nawara Alawa, University of Miami, FL
Taylor Williams, University of Minnesota, MN
Lizzy Shay, University of Minnesota, MN
Taylor McGraw, University of Mississippi, MS
Steven Brockman, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO
Jericah Selby, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO
Eric Kamler, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Andrew Coukos, University of New Hampshire, NH
Will Leimenstoll, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Carlo Fassi, University of North Florida, FL
Brett Rocheleau, University of Notre Dame, IN
Patrick McCormick, University of Notre Dame, IN
Joe Sangirardi, University of Oklahoma, OK
Hannah Morris, University of Oklahoma, OK
Autumn Wiles, University of Oklahoma/ Seminole State College, OK
Ben Eckstein, University of Oregon, OR
Bradley Halpern, University of Rochester, NY
Joe Wright, University of South Carolina, SC
Kenny Tracy, University of South Carolina, SC
Collin Michels, University of South Dakota, SD
Matthew Diaz, University of South Florida System, FL
Brian Goff, University of South Florida System, FL
Jordan Whitledge, University of Southern Indiana, IN
Sarah Krampe, University of Southern Indiana, IN
Erick Brown, University of Southern Mississippi, MS
Rajiv Dwivedi, University of Texas at Dallas, TX
John Cook, University of Texas at Houston School of Nursing, TX
Tiffany Allison, University of Texas at Tyler, TX
Michael Suarez, University of Texas at Tyler, TX
Emma Dishner, University of Texas HSC, Houston, TX
Farah Ladha, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX
Neela Pack, University of Utah, UT
Connor Daley, University of Vermont, VT
Ashlee Washburn, University of Virginia's College at Wise, VA
Beth Huang, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Julian Golfarini, University of Vermont, VT
Christian Thrapp, Utah State University, UT
Thomas Garvin Utah State University, Eastern UT
Richard Portwood, Utah Valley University, UT
Chad Workman, Utah Valley University, UT
David Vazquez, Vanguard University of Southern California, CA
Jason Rubin, Vassar College, NY
Christopher Lara-Cruz, Ventura College, CA
Asif Bhavnagri, Virginia Commonwealth University, VA
Jae Lee, Virginia Commonwealth, University VA
J Corbin DiMeglio, Virginia Tech, VA
Eric Benedict, Washburn University, KS
Julian Nicks, Washington University in Saint Louis, MO
Kyle Braithwaite, Weber State University, UT
Jason Bailey, West Virginia University, WV
Zach Redding, West Virginia University, WV
Jonathon Pierce, Westminster College, UT
Nicolas Raoux, Westminster College, UT
Christopher Brown, Wilberforce University, OH
Melisa Wink, William Penn University, IA
Peter Skipper, Williams College, MA
Adam Strozier, Wisconsin Technical College, WI