New Congress could help local students - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Congress could help local students

YAKIMA, Wash -- The new Democratic Congress wants to cut college-loan interest rates in half.

The rate will be reduced from about 7% to 3.4 %. Additionally Democrats say they will increase funding for Pell grants - which, unlike a loan - students don't have to pay pack.

Currently students can get $4,000 a year in Pell Grants. The increase will bring that number to $5,100.

"For a student that means when they get out of school and start looking for work," Leslie Blackaby, of YVCC, "their loan payments will be less, they will have their loan paid off more quickly."

Blackaby says the average YVCC student carries about $5,000 of debt after graduation. This is below the national average.

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