CWU helps local students burdened by increased interest rates on student loans

Just yesterday the interest rate for subsidized federal students loans doubled to 6.8%
Students at YVCC who are ready to transfer to CWU are certainly affected by this increase.

"I mean it's tough enough as it is, without the government making it tougher," said Vernon Sperry.

Vernon is a student at YVCC who'll be transferring to CWU to pursue an engineering degree. He voiced the concern of students throughout the country feeling burdened by the increased interest rate for student loans.

As of July 1st, the rate jumped from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Vernon now expects to be $50,000 in debt by the time he graduates.

"I'm going to have to now take on more side jobs and take on more other work in order to try to make it and try to get by," said Vernon.

"It's really unfortunate that students who are trying to better themselves are really unable to," said Dr. Tanya Knickerbocker, Chemistry Professor at YVCC.

The good news is that CWU is willing to help, with over 40 million dollars of scholarship and grant money.

Every year students at Central Washington underestimate how much money they can receive through scholarships, which leaves the money untouched.

"The whole point is to take out as little loans as possible when you're in college, now I just, I'll be searching for more work," said Michael Floresca, YVCC student.

CWU says the 40-million they have covers a wide range of areas such as tuition and housing wavers and scholarships for academic interest areas, high achievers and special talents.

"It's just another obstacle to overcome, that's the way I see it," said Michael.

And its an obstacle CWU says their students can overcome. The grant and scholarship money they give out does not have to be paid back. Officials at the school say it's never too late to look for a scholarship, and there is something for everyone.

The financial aid office at CWU stressed they're there to put together the right amount of aid for each student.