Senator Patty Murray’s office estimates that about 780,000 borrowers in Washington state are eligible for student loan relief.
According to data collected by US News & World Report, the median amount borrowed by Washington University undergraduates is $15,000. If that’s paid off over 10 years, at about 5% interest, they’re looking at payments of $143 per month.
Across the Palouse, Washington, students pay about 33% more. The median amount borrowed there is $20,000, with monthly payments of $175.
Students KIRO 7 spoke to at Seattle universities had mixed reactions to the news. Stephany Janssen, a student at the University of Washington, thinks more can be done to help reduce accrued interest on student loans. The incoming junior says the single mother who raised her continues to struggle with this.
“It doesn’t make sense to me that she still has thousands of dollars in college debt,” Janssen said. “I think it’s a nice small step in the right direction, but really 10,000,000 in a larger scheme doesn’t do much for people who have been in debt for a very long time.”
Liv Finne of the Washington Policy Center thinks the root cause of the problem is that college is too expensive. Finne argues that the focus should be on reducing tuition fees and the need to make higher education affordable for all.
“It’s unfair for workers who didn’t go to college to make them pay off the loans of people who went to college,” Finne said.
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