President Barack Obama on Tuesday made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which was being taped at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he slow jammed the news of a possible increase in the Stafford student loan interest rates.
Both Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney agree that the interest rates on the federally subsidized student loan should be kept low.
Interest on the popular Stafford loans, which are offered to low- and middle-income students, is set to double on July 1 from 3.4 to 6.8 percent if Congress doesn't move to stop it. Should this happen, about seven million undergraduates would be affected, with an average $1,000 increase in monthly payments.
Here's a transcript of the video, in which Obama slow jams with Fallon, backed by The Roots, and explains what could happen on July 1 if Congress doesn't move to act on this issue.
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President Obama: On July first of this year the interest rate on Stafford student loans, the same loans many of you use to help pay for college, are set to double. That means some hard working students will be paying about a thousand dollars extra just to get their education. So I've called on Congress to prevent this from happening. What we've said is simple: Now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people.
Jimmy Fallon: Oh yeah. You should listen to the President or, as I like to call him, the Preezy of the United Steezy. Things are heating up inside of Congress's chambers, behind all those closed doors, so the president made a few discreet calls across the aisle. He said 'Hey, let's get together on this one.' Without an affordable Stafford loan where can the student t turn? ... With college getting more expensive, is it enough by itself to satisfy all your collegiate needs? Ah, Pell no!
Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, from The Roots sings: Oh Pell no. If Congress doesn't act it's the students who pay. The right and left should join on this, like Kim and Kanye, sings.
President Obama: Now there's some in Congress who disagree. They say keeping the interest rate low isn't the way to help our students. They say we should be doing everything we can to pay down the national debt. Well, so long as it doesn't include taxing billionaires. But their position is that students just have to make this rate increase work. Frankly I don't buy it.
Jimmy Fallon: Mmm-mmm-mmm! The Barackness Monster ain't buying it. We all know our legislative bodies in the House, tossing and turning late into the night, but still Republicans disagree and could even filibuster. But, if they do, the president said, they're gonna feel it, buster.
Tariq sings: The GOP is steady saying 'No, no no!' They should find something new to do like Tim Tebow.
Obama went on to explain that keeping down cost keeps college affordable.
Let's keep the rates down on college loans. Obama said.