HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Thousands of Connecticut college students and their parents are caught in the political chicken game going on in Washington. Federal student loan rates will double in five days, costing students and parents thousands more if a compromise is not reached.
Mark Schuman is a junior at UConn majoring in special education.
"I just want to know that when I get out of college, I'm going to be able to pay off loans," Schuman. "I want to know that."
Close to 75,000 Connecticut college students like Mark are facing an enormous rate hike on their federal student loans.
Unless Congress acts this week the interest rate on federal student loans will double from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. A whopping jump of between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the term of the loan.
"If this legislation fails to pass and this interest rate doubles, you're going to see...and I'm fairly certain of this; you're going to see a fair number of students either drop out or fail to continue or finish their education simply because they can't afford it," said Steve Petkis, UConn student president.
Some students joined members of Congress Monday urging an extension of the 3.4 percent rate.
"I don't think a lot of students are really aware of it," said Schuman. "It's kind of one of those things that they don't know about, but once you bring it up, it's like; 'oh really? that's actually going to happen?' It's really a concern to a lot of people."
2nd District Congressman Joe Courtney has been pushing for more than just a one year extension.
"We need to be talking about a long term fix to help middle class families deal with an issue, which now basically costs as much as buying a house," Courtney said.
"Without broad access to college, quite honestly this is no middle class in the United States, there is none," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
House Republicans wanted to pay for this by taking money out of the Public Health Prevention fund, which pays for things like cervical cancer screenings.
However, most of the Republicans in the Senate, joined the Democrats in rejecting that idea. The two sides continue to talk.
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