Washington, D.C. - About 7.4 million students could see their federal loan rates double if Congress doesn't act this week.
Interest rates on Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans for undergraduates would double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1st.
Democrats and Republicans disagree on how to cover the $6 billion cost.
President Barack Obama says lawmakers must make education a priority.
"One of the most important things we can do for our economy is to make sure that all Americans get the best education possible," Obama said. "If we know that a higher education is the clearest path to the middle class, why would we make it harder to achieve?"
Senator Charles Schumer says nearly 300,000 New Yorkers would be affected by the rate increase.
"We know that college is the future for individuals, for families, for our country," he said. "When a kid who deserves to go to college can't go, or doesn't go to the college that's best for them because they can't afford it, they lose, their families lose and america loses."
This all comes as college tuition debt is skyrocketing. Americans collectively owe nearly $1 trillion dollars in student loans.