(CNN) — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a compromise student loan bill that would roll back a rate hike on some loans that took effect July 1 and tie future rates to financial markets. The vote was 81 to 18. The White House supports the measure, and the House is expected to pass it by the end of next week.
President Obama said about the bill:
A better bargain for the middle class means making a college education available to every single American willing to work for it. That’s why I applaud the wide bipartisan majority of Senators who passed a bill to cut rates on nearly all new federal student loans, rolling back a July 1st rate hike and saving undergraduates an average of more than $1,500 on loans they take out this year.
This compromise is a major victory for our nation’s students. It meets the key principles I laid out from the start: it locks in low rates next year, and it doesn’t overcharge students to pay down the deficit. I urge the House to pass this bill so that I can sign it into law right away, and I hope both parties build on this progress by taking even more steps to bring down soaring costs and keep a good education – a cornerstone of what it means to be middle class – within reach for working families.