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The Associated Press April 30, 2012, 2:59PM ET

Student loan interest rate hike called damaging

The head of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority says a doubling of interest rates on some federal student loans might force some students to forgo higher education.

RISLA Executive Director Charles Kelley said Monday that the doubling of the interest rate on Stafford loans could make college unaffordable. The rate is set to go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July if Congress does not act.

Kelley was joined by students and U.S. Rep. James Langevin (LAN'-jih-vin) at a news conference at the Warwick Mall. RISLA's College Planning Center is located there.

Langevin says the rate increase would add an average of $1,000 to the life of a student's loan. His office says the average Rhode Island student has over $26,000 in education debt.

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