Borrowing for tuition, housing and books would be less expensive for college students and their parents this fall but the costs could soon start climbing under a bill the Senate has passed overwhelmingly.
The bipartisan proposal would link interest rates on federal student loans to the financial markets, providing lower interest rates right away but higher ones if the economy improves as expected. The measure was similar to one that already had passed the Republican-led House and leaders from both chambers said they predicted the differences to be resolved before students start signing loan documents for fall term.
Liberal members of the Democratic caucus were vocal in their opposition over the potentially shifting rates included in the Senate measure, which passed with support from both parties, 81-18.
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