State Treasurer of Iowa

State Treasurer Fitzgerald Hosts College Student Body Representatives for Phone Call With President

May 8, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa – State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald hosted five Iowa College Student Body Representatives in his office to join a call with President Obama regarding the potential interest rate hike for student loans.  Public officials and students across the country joined together to support the President in his efforts to keep the student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st.

Treasurer Fitzgerald invited student leaders from colleges across Iowa to participate in the discussion. The following students were able to join him on the call:  Justin Meyers, Grand View University in Des Moines; Greg Ellingson, Central College in Pella; Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls; Jared Knight, Iowa State University in Ames; and David Karaz, Drake University in Des Moines.

“It is great to have students actively involved in this conversation,” Fitzgerald stated after the call.  “Students need to use their voices to encourage their Congress Members to act.  I am proud to have such high quality students here in Iowa representing all Iowa students.”

President Obama urged the students on the call to get involved and ask Congress to act.  “I need your help,” the President explained. 

[Central Iowa Insert]
“Keeping the interest rate down is vital to not only current students but future students in the upcoming generations. We can’t let college become even more expensive, and President Obama is doing a great job trying to keep the rates low.”-Justin Meyers, Student Body President, Grand View University

“No one will argue that stopping our rates from doubling is a bad idea, but it is really unfortunate that we cannot decrease them from the current state.  If the federal government were to double the interest rate, it would work against everything Drake and the state of Iowa is doing to make our collegiate education affordable.” -David Karaz, Student Body Vice President, Drake University

[Eastern Iowa Insert]
“It’s really great that President Obama took the time to talk with us and many other student, municipal and state leaders about the potential impending doubling of federally subsidized student loan interest rates. Here in Iowa, especially with the current “Brain Drain,” it is imperative to the future of Iowa’s economy that interest rates stay as low as possible. Iowa college and university students are leaving school with the highest levels of debt in the nation. If interest rates were to double, more students will be forced to leave Iowa in order to pay off those loans.” -Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, Student Body President, University of Northern Iowa

[Pella Insert]
“It’s great to hear so much support and concern from across the nation on this issue. Many students at Central College will be affected by a doubling of this interest rate. At this time, when many struggle to pay for their college and still are not guaranteed adequate employment when they graduate, it is crucial that college remains as affordable as possible.” -Greg Ellingson, Student Body President, Central College

[Ames Insert]
“Iowa State students graduate with an average of $30,000 in student loans. Doubling the interest rates means student will pay an additional $6,000 in interest payments – equal to a year of rent, a used car, or almost a year of tuition.” -Jared Knight, President of the Student Body, Iowa State University

For More Information:

Karen Austin, 515-281-7677,

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