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Obama: Rising College Costs, Loans Have Trapped US Middle Class

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President Barack Obama says the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education.  (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama says the rising costs of college have left America’s middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the rising costs of college have left America’s middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education.

Obama is signing a presidential memorandum he says could help an additional 5 million borrowers.

An existing repayment plan lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in payments, but is only available for those who started borrowing after October 2007. Obama’s memo expands that program by making it fully retroactive.

Obama is also calling on Congress to pass more sweeping legislation that would let college graduates refinance their loans at lower interest rates. Senate Democrats are pushing that bill but it faces Republican opposition over how to pay for it.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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