Student loan interest rates central to Obama's message - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Student loan interest rates central to Obama's message

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Wednesday thousands of University of Iowa students waited in long lines to see the President, none more anxious than UI junior Bridget Murillo, first in line and waiting outside the Field House since 1:00 a.m.

"I wanted to make sure to get a good seat," Murillo said.

Murillo relies on multiple federally funded Stafford loans to pay her way through school.

"My parents are middle to low income so I know that they can't help me pay off college," she said.

July 1st, the low interest rate on her loan will double if Congress doesn't act.  It's a burden she would have difficulty taking on.

"I would actually have to get jobs and multiple jobs, and also being a full time student."

More than 250,000 Iowa students like Murillo depend on the low Stafford interest rates.

During his time in Iowa City, President Obama urged the large energetic crowd to reach out to lawmakers to freeze rates before they expire.

"Congress needs to act right now to prevent interest rates on federal student loans from shooting up and shaking you down," Obama said.

The President is calling for a greater investment in higher education as a central piece to building a stronger economy.

"This is about your job security.  This is about your future.  If you do well, the economy does well. This is about the economy," Obama said.

A message Murillo hopes lawmakers take to heart and help ease the burden of high costs on her family.

"I have a little brother that's coming to school, that's about to start college, so it's going to be a struggle," she said.

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