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Rockefeller Frets Over Student Loan Interest Hike

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File photo of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

File photo of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Student-loan interest rates will rise July 1 if Congress doesn’t act, and U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller is sounding alarms.

He met with students, parents, financial advisers and others in Morgantown Thursday to discuss ideas to help make college more affordable.

Last year, Rockefeller helped prevent a rate increase, but graduates are now just a month from seeing their rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

West Virginia already has the nation’s highest student loan delinquency rate — 18 percent, compared with the national average of 11 percent.

Rockefeller says he doesn’t want to see even more defaults.

Student loan debt in the U.S. totals $1 trillion — second only to mortgage debt.

On average, students graduated in 2010 with nearly $27,000 in debt. Ten percent owed more than $61,000.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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