Sen. Dick Durbin appeared Tuesday with students at DePaul University, hoping to bolster support for a temporary fix that would hold the line on federal student loans.
"These students know just what to do. They know what the Internet's all about. They know what email's all about. They know what Twitter's all about -- they know things I have no idea about," Durbin said, eliciting laughter. "They can turn loose a force, with their parents, that will get this job done."
The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012 would maintain current rates and save each student more than $1,000 over the life of their loan. The interest rate on Federal Stafford Loans is set to double to 6.8 percent for more than 365,000 Illinois students on July 1.
"With interest rates going up like this how am I ever going to pay back $90,000 plus 6.8 percent? It's not feasible," said Michelle Doser, who left DePaul because it was too expensive and now attends a community college.
Durbin said the plan would be paid for by closing a loophole that allows some businesses to avoid taxes.