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June 19, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-06-19

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 19, 2006 - 8


Continued from Page 1
Bruce said "less than a handful"
of alumni abstained from the vote.
The board of directors, which
consists of about 24 people, voted
to approve the recommendation
with two abstentions.
Catherine Serrin, director of
media and communications for the
association said the association has
not taken a stance on any issues in
the past for two reasons - until
2003, no protocol had been instated
to consider developing an official
statement on an issue, and at that
time the association had not con-
sidered any issue to be a significant
threat to its mission.
Serrin also said the association
developed an unofficial statement
concerning their position on the
2003 Supreme Court case on the
University's admissions policies.
The board considered the case a
threat to the University's commit-
ment to diversity, a founding prin-
ciple of the public institution.
Courtand said the association was
confronted by a group of activists
in 2003 who wanted the association
to take a position on a contentious
issue of the time, but the associa-
tion had no protocol to follow. The
association then decided.to develop
a protocol.
The five-step protocol is "intend-
ed to guide persons who seek to
have the association publicly com-
ment on an issue of public policy."


LEFT: After performances by Lyrics Born and Common, Blackaliclous closed Friday night at the Bonnaroo Music Festival In Manchester, Tenn. RIGHT:
Radiohead Lead Vocalist Thom Yorke performes Saturday night. Bonnaroo, which the band headlined, was Radiohead's first appearance at a U.S. music
festival since they headlined Coachella In 2004.

With interest rates set to spike July 1, students
and parents consider option of loan consolidation

Interest rates on the
largest federal student
loan program will
rise nearly 2 percent
By Marlem Qamruzzaman
Daily Staff Reporter
If you haven't caught the buzz about
consolidation, you might be setting
yourself up to pay thousands of dollars
extra on your loans.
After July 1, interest rates for federal
loans will spike to the highest they have
been in six years.
Interest rates on outstanding Stafford
loans, the largest federal student loan
program, will climb from 5.3 percent
to 7.14 percent. Outstanding PLUS
loans, taken out by parents and co-
signed by students, will increase to
7.94 percent from 6.1 percent.
Interest rates on new loans will also rise
to 6.8 percent for student borrowers and
8.5 percent for parent borrowers.
The U.S. Department of Education
announced the increases May 30 as part
of its annual adjustment. The announce-
ment came after Congress passed legisla-
tion in April that would cut $12 billion in
financial aid.
Luke Swarthout, higher education
spokesman for the State Public Interest
Research Group, said consolidation could

save the average graduate about $2,000 on
a 10-yearloan.
"What I would suggest for all students
and all recent graduates is to look into
whether loan consolidation is beneficial to
(them)" Swarthout said.
"If you haven't already consolidated, it
will allow you the opportunity to lock in
your interest rate and keep your payments
from increasing when interest rates rise."
Swarthout said students should be
aware that consolidation will extend the
time allowed to pay back loans, and that
they should first contact their financial aid
office and find out if itsis right for them.
LSA senior Timothy Wiggins, who
owes more than $10,000 in federal
loans, was unaware that consolidation
could apply to him.
Wiggins believed his eligibility for
loan consolidation was dependent upon
his graduating from college.
Representative Joe Schwarz (R-Battle
Creek), current chairman of the Universi-
ty's Alumni Association's Board of Direc-
tors, has met criticism for voting in favor of
the April financial aid cuts.
Schwarz's office did not return
phone calls to comment on his deci-
sion last week.
To counter the rate hike, Democrats
have introduced counter legislation
called the Reverse the Raid on Student
Aid Act of 2006.
The bill, introduced by Rep. George

Miller (D-Calif.)and Sen.Richard Durbin
(D-Ill), would cut federal loan interest Increasing Rates
rates to 34 percent for students and 4.25
percent for parents. Beginning July 1 mterest ratesforexisting federal Stafod
"People are fed up with the rising and PLUS loans will increase tothe highest level in six years.
costs of college and the rising debt,
and they want to see Congress do
something about it," said Tom Kiley,
spokesman for Rep. Miller.
Kiley said that Congress cut financial 7.94%
aid in order to provide $70 billion in tax
cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Miller, who is also the senior democrat
on the House Committee for Education
and the Workforce, constructed a forum
on his website where students and parents
can discuss their experiences and struggles
in funding a college education.
"Congress really needs to hear from par-
ents and students who are trying to pay their
own way through college," Kiley said.
Kiley said Congress needs to hear about
all student loan issues - regardless of
whether it is a student who cannot afford
to pay for college or a graduate who can-
not manage student loan debt.
Students and parents may also take
advantage of the loan calculator on Mill-
er's website, where they can compare
how much they would spend under the""t*
Democrats' plan in comparison to the
Republicans' plan. GRAPHIC BY GERVIS MENZIES/Dal
Kiley said the country needs to be a federal priority. because they can't afford it," he said.
convince the Republicans that an "No qualified student should be pre- "That's not acceptable in the 21st cen-
affordable college education should vented from getting a college degree tury. That's the bottom line."


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