"Affording college is definitely... things are tight. We make it happen. Those of us that have our priorities straight, we make it happen," said Greg Lambert, a student at Community College of Vermont.
Lambert, like many students at CCV, is juggling a very full plate. He is a single father, cancer survivor, studies environment sciences and will be receiving his associate degree in June. He says he plans to further his education in the fall, but worries whether that is possible with the proposed changes to Stafford loans.
"We are the future of this country. We are the future taxpayers of this country. So I think would behoove the government to help out those of us that are trying to improve ourselves trying to get educated," Lambert said.
Congressman Peter Welch spoke with a group of CCV students to hear their concerns about college affordability and to discuss a push in the U.S. House of Representatives to double the interest rates on Stafford loans-- a decision that he says is outrageous.
"How in the world are we going to justify doubling the interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent? It's really like an imputative tax on aspiring middle class families," said Rep. Welch, D-Vermont.
Administrators at CCV say the change could greatly impact students.
"Seventy percent of our degree students receive financial aid and about 45 percent of those use student loans. As you heard Congressman Welch say, that is about $1,000 average in their repayment. That is significant, and we are very concerned about that," said Pam Chisholm, the director of financial aid at CCV.
"A budget has to take into account our future in folks like you who are willing to work hard to create a future for us. So you are doing your part, OK? Now, Congress has got to do its," Welch said.
Last year the same increase was to be implemented, but Welch played a crucial role blocking the increase. And now, he says with the support of several others, they are fighting to do the same again this year.
Welch seems hopeful that interest rate will remain low. He says a powerful argument he will continue to use is that the government currently borrows at 2 percent, so why should students have interest rates at nearly 7 percent.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>