With a lot of news stories and politcal hype centered around the upcoming doubling of the interest rates for federal student loans for undergrads from 3.4% to 6.8% what does this mean for a grad student? Well, since our federal loans are already at a fixed 6.8%, really not a whole lot, unless you're one of us who utilize the subsidized loan programs, which pending qualification, allows you to take up to $8,500 per year in federal loans where the interest is effectively foregiven while you are in school.
I must admit that I do like interest free loans which is what I have been able to take advantage of with these federally subsidized loans over the past couple years. However, with the upcoming changes, these are slated to end on July 1, 2012 so they are basically gone for future academic years. Now that doesn't mean that grad student loans are gone. The standard unsubsidized loans that allow you to pay interest as you attend or roll it into principal will continue to be available if you choose to use them at the same fixed 6.8% rate.
So, now that tax day has come and gone and my forms are turned in and I await my refund, I guess I'll get to filling out my FAFSA to ensure that I can qualify for unsubsided loans while keeping my fingers crossed that in the current political landscape that not only do my undergrad counterparts get to keep their low 3.4% loans, but that our elected officials might also choose to keep subsidized loans for grad students around at a least a few more years until I finish up my MBA!