Student loan rates doubling on Monday
Students borrowing subsidized loans from the federal government this fall will see interest rates on their loans double to 6.8%.
July 1st, 2013
11:30 AM ET

Student loan rates doubling on Monday

By Jennifer Liberto, CNNMoney

Washington (CNNMoney) - Students preparing to take subsidized government loans will see their interest rates double to 6.8% from current levels, starting Monday, July 1.

But hope isn't lost yet. Lawmakers are working hard behind the scenes trying to strike a deal to save the 7 million college students who are slated to take the subsidized federal Stafford loans this year.

Senate Democratic leaders are throwing their weight behind a bill that would extend the 3.4% rates for another year, just as Congress did last year.

House Republicans have said they'd prefer a longer term solution, like the one they passed back in April to keep rates low for now but rise along with market rates in the future.

Students are being told to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

"We're advising our schools to tell students that their subsidized Stafford interest rates are going to be 6.8% on July 1," said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Read the full story from CNNMoney

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Filed under: College costs • Politics
Surviving middle school - again
Wendy Sachs, left, posed with friends in 1986 on their last day of middle school. Has it gotten any easier since, she wondered?
July 1st, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Surviving middle school - again

By Wendy Sachs, Special to CNN

(CNN) - About a year ago, I sat in the auditorium at South Orange Middle School in suburban New Jersey and listened to the cheerful principal prepare the incoming sixth-grade parents for what would lie ahead. The big, bad dreaded middle school years were upon us. After the principal posted his Twitter handle so we could get his feed on our digital devices, he then tried to assure the jittery crowd that middle school isn't as awful as it used to be.

Leave your own baggage behind folks; we're in a gentler, more tolerant era.

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Not only has social media and modern communication like Twitter and e-mail opened access to teachers and staff, but a trickle-down effect of our progressive age apparently inoculates kids from some of the horrors of those hormonally charged and awkward adolescent years. Bullying is a big no-no at school, a punishable crime in New Jersey that the school administration, fortunately, takes seriously. It's unlikely for kids to be pushed into lockers or stripped naked at gym. But the fear that your kid would be the school loser or have the dreaded "cheese touch" courtesy of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series - well, that's something that even an aggressive, politically correct school policy can't prevent.

Despite the principal's peppy speech, we remained skeptical. Parents know that middle school can be another circle of hell. We know it, because we've all lived it.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Bullying • Middle school • Parents • Students