NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)--The nation's student loan rate crisis has now been replaced with the student debt crisis.
The President signed the new law preventing the rates from doubling but the national student loan debt currently tops one trillion dollars.
By the end of the month over 11,000 students will be back in classes at Southern.
And for many entering their senior year the reality of their crushing student loan debt is beginning to sink in.
"$25,000 in debt, and that's not including interest. I intend on paying for it by trying to get a job right out of college," said Chevell Burrell, a senior.
"Between $70,000 and $80,000 and I know that starting working as soon as after, I'll have to start paying back the loans but I'm not sure quite how to pay them back," said Jay Henderson, a senior.
"I'm actually not sure how much loan debt that I'm going to have but I know it's pretty high up there," said Erin McGuckin, a senior.
In some cases the loan debt pressure causes students to change their plans, even drop out.
"They drop out, they work more hours. It's more difficult for them to really achieve their goals which is to complete their college degree and to move forward into the workforce," said Mary Papazian, President SCSU.
Many came there Tuesday to hear about Senator Dick Blumenthal's proposals to expand the federal income-based loan repayment program and expanding the existing 'Public Service Loan program.'
"I'm an elementary education major so I'm hoping to teach either first or second grade and, you know teaching is, you know, we don't get paid a whole lot," said McGuckin.
"Teachers, policemen, doctors, people who do community service should be forgiven these debts or, at least, provided some repayment relief," said Blumenthal.
Two-thirds of students at most of Connecticut's state college system are going to school with some kind of government loan.
Blumenthal and his supporters in the U.S. Senate say the government should be willing to help them along and when a good faith effort is made forgive some of this heavy debt.
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