Jefferson Keel: Student loan proposal good for Indian Country

"Over the last week President Obama, in public events at high schools and speeches throughout the country, has led the charge to ensure that higher education for all students from all backgrounds is affordable. The president has done this because on July 1, 2012, if Congress doesn’t act, interest rates on federally subsidized student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. He has also made a direct tie between access to education and the rebuilding of the economy. What has received very little attention, however, is the impact that such an increase would have on access to education, educational achievement, and ultimately the already fragile economy of Indian country.

Native college enrollment has more than doubled between 1976 and 2006. Education after high school, whether it be at a tribal college, a vocational training program, community college, or a four-year institution, has become a real option for the next generation of tribal citizens to advance their knowledge and skills. The number of our young people seeking those opportunities will only increase in the years to come, as 32 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Native population are 18 years old or younger."

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Jefferson Keel: Stopping the Student Loan Interest Hike Is Critical for Indian Country, Too (Indian Country Today 5/10)

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