AAUW supported the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act (S.2343) because we believe that preventing student loan interest rates to rise is critical to making the dream of higher education a reality for Americans. In practical terms, increasing the affordability of a college education is the best way to prepare the American workforce to compete in a 21st-century global economy. Higher education is now less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Subsidized Stafford loans are only offered to students with demonstrated need. About 30 percent of undergraduates in 2007–08 received a subsidized Stafford loan, and a majority of those recipients were women. Though the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act failed (52-45) in the Senate on a procedural vote, interest rates did not increase.
A provision in a bill to reauthorize federal transportation programs, which was signed into law by the president on June 29, 2012—just one day shy of the deadline—prevented the hike.