Deal emerging on student loans, talks continue

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, July 11 2013 2:50 p.m. MDT

"We must focus our attention now on a long-term solution such as the president supports, the House of Representatives has passed and a group of Republican, Democratic and independent senators have proposed," Alexander said.

A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, and a vote could be scheduled as quickly as Tuesday.

The House has approved legislation that links rates to the markets. Aides said differences between the two proposals were not that significant and suggested they could quickly be worked out.

If fresh negotiations prove fruitless, millions of students returning to campus next month will find borrowing terms twice as high as when school let out. Without congressional action in the coming weeks, the increase could mean an extra $2,600 for an average student returning to campus this fall, according to Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

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