By Derek Johnson
“The United States government should not be making a profit off of the backs of our students.” This was Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s battle cry as she addressed the Fitchburg State University students who had yet to leave for spring break yesterday. The discussion was held in the Holmes Dining Commons.
Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) was accompanied by Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong, and by a panel of students who asked her questions about rising tuition rates.
Sen. Warren stated that when inflation is taken into account, “A young person today is paying 300 percent more than their parents 30 years ago.” She also stated, “The first step is to get all the interest rates down for all loans.”
Sen. Warren does not believe that bringing the interest rate down to zero percent would be a good solution as the government still has to cover the cost of the student loan program. Warren does believe it should be brought down to 3.8 percent, comparable to the current situation where students are paying between 6 and 9 percent interest rates. According to Warren, the government used to cover two-thirds of tuition but a generation later covers only one third.
Warren then opened the floor to students for questions that ranged from refinancing loans to applying for loans so the whole family can attend college. When the discussion was over she stayed a little longer to take pictures with students, even allowing one to record her saying “Happy Birthday” to a friend who couldn’t make it.