MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Students and Graduates Threatened by Huge Interest Rate Increases Bring Fight, 1 Million Signatures to the U.S. Capitol
Over 1 Million Join SignOn.org Petition Calling on Congress to Forgive Student Debt
As Student Loan Rates Set to Soar, Robert Applebaum and Supporters to Deliver 1 Million Signatures to Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) at the House Triangle, 12 Noon EST Thursday June 28th.
WASHINGTON, DC - On Thursday, dozens of concerned students and citizens will gather at the Capitol to deliver a petition with more than 1,000,000 signatures calling on Congress to pass the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) and prevent student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%.
“With student loan debt soaring to over $1 trillion, millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts while the economy continues to sputter,” said Robert Applebaum, an attorney from Staten Island, NY and founder of ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com, who created the petition on SignOn.org. “Washington must act to prevent the cost of getting an education from rising and Congress needs to support a real economic stimulus and jobs plan. The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) must be a part of this solution.”
WHO: Robert Applebaum, SignOn.org petition signers, concerned students, parents, teachers, and MoveOn.org members will deliver over 1,000,000 signatures calling for student loan relief to Congress. Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI), a leader in Congress on relief for student loan debt, will accept the petitions.
WHAT: Rally for Student Loan Debt Relief and To Urge Congress Not To Allow Student Loan Interest Rates to Double on July 1st. Robert Applebaum will deliver over 1 million signatures to Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI).
WHEN: 12pm NOON. EST - Thursday, June 28, 2012
WHERE: House Triangle, US Capitol, Washington DC
VISUALS: Banners and posters declaring “I’m in Debt and I Vote.” Students and recent graduates will be in caps and gowns and holding signs that announce their debt.
Applebaum started a petition on SignOn.org, the online campaign platform created by MoveOn.org, and has so far gained the support of over 1 million people. The petition will be delivered to Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI). Rep. Clarke is the author of the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012.
“Student loan debt is costing this country jobs and robbing many young college graduates of their future. H.R. 4170 will give student loan borrowers an opportunity to pursue their dreams such as starting a business, working in public service, or buying a home,” said Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI). “I call on my colleagues in Congress to work with me to address the growing crisis of student loan debt by passing the Student Loan Forgiveness Act and preventing student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st.”
“If the U.S. Congress does not act, some 7 million students planning to attend college next year will have to pay more in order to pursue an education,” said Applebaum. More than 7 million undergraduates have subsidized student loans, meaning the federal government absorbs some of the cost in order to keep the loan rate low for lower and middle income families. If Congress does nothing, the cost to students borrowing the maximum in subsidized student loans is an extra $5000 over a 10-year repayment period.
Applebaum explains that even if Congress fixes the student loan rate, which it is expected to do, this action is not enough. “A well-educated workforce benefits society as a whole, not just the students who receive a higher education,” Applebaum said. “It is often said that an undergraduate degree today is the equivalent of a high school diploma 30 or 40 years ago. Forgiving student loan debt would have an immediate stimulating effect on the economy. Responsible people who did nothing other than pursue a higher education would have hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars per month to spend, fueling the economy now.”
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SignOn.org is the non-profit, online campaign platform from MoveOn.org that lets anyone start and run their own online campaigns.
Robert Applebaum is a 1998 graduate of Fordham University School of Law and, thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. between 1999 and 2004. After 5 years of service as an ADA, because of his exponentially increasing student loan debt, Applebaum made the unfortunate decision to leave a public service job he loved for the private sector, where he remained for the next 5 years. He founded www.forgivestudentloandebt.com in January 2009 and has written on the topic of student loan debt for The New York Times, Salon.com, The Guardian and The Hill. He has been featured in BusinessWeek, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Now on PBS, Nightly Business Report, RT America, PBS NewsHour and Default: The Student Loan Documentary.