AK Democrats to offer student loan rate relief

Democrats in the state House will take another shot at providing relief for Alaska students taking out loans for higher education.

Anchorage Rep. Les Gara says the student loan rate is more than double what an Alaskan pays for a car loan. The loan bill to be introduced next month would have the effect of lowering rates by 3 percent.

The measure calls for Alaska students to receive an annual reduction of 2.5 percent of the principal of their Alaska student loans each year if they maintain Alaska residency.

Gara says money should not be a barrier to college or to job training.

A similar bill failed last session. Postsecondary Education Commission Director Diane Barrans said at the time the measure raised financial and operational concerns.