(Week of 4/21/2012) Americans overwhelmingly believe that paying for college is a greater challenge for families today than it was in the past. In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, 85% say it is harder today to pay for a college education than it was 30 years ago. 59% say it is much harder.
Given the widespread agreement that funding a college education poses a major difficulty for contemporary families, it is perhaps no surprise that Americans are also largely in support of extending the current interest rate on federal student loans. Congress lowered the rate to 3.4% in 2007, but it will return 6.8% in July unless Congress extends the lower rate. 62% of Americans would like to see that extension. 19% say the lower rate is no longer affordable. Majorities in both parties favor keeping the rate low.
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