Tuesday afternoon, President Barack Obama made a stop at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill to discuss student debt. Hundreds of students and residents of Chapel Hill lined the streets to hear the President’s speech at the Carmichael Arena on the university’s campus. This is the first time that Obama has visited the campus since becoming president.

Obama revealed to the crowd that he and Michelle Obama just paid off their student loans eight years ago. The President told students that he has been in their position.

“When we married, we got poor together” the President said.

If Congress does not act by July 1st, the interest rates for the popular federally subsidized loans will double. The hike will affect new subsidized Stafford Loans, which are primarily issued to low and middle income undergraduates.

The President has called on congress to take action against this, and encouraged students to tweet about it with the hashtag #don’tdoublemyrate.

“Everybody will give lip service to this. You’ll hear a lot of folks saying ‘oh this is important, this is important’” Obama said. “But it requires not just words but deeds. Since you were born, tuition and fees to American colleges have more than doubled.”

The President also noted that in America the debt for student debt is now higher than credit debt.

President Obama believes that student debt has had a damaging effect on the economy, and that students will not have the options to spend money on items such as new homes and new business, because they will be paying off loans that they received years ago in college.

After his speech, the President taped a segment for “The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show,” at Memorial Hall which aired last night.

Obama will also visit colleges in Colorado and Iowa, where he will make similar speeches such as the one delivered in Chapel Hill. While Obama successfully won all three states in 2008, it is believed that these will be hotly contested in November, when President Obama faces likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

This speech was much different from the President’s speech that he made in September at NC State, in which he focused on jobs and the economy.

Several NC State students received tickets to attend the event that was held on Saturday in Riddick Hall, which was sponsored by student group Wolfpack for Obama. Actor Mehcad Brooks (True Blood, The Game, Desperate Housewives) was scheduled to speak at the event on Saturday as well as at North Carolina Central University, but had to cancel due to filming conflicts.

Update: On Wednesday Speaker John Boehner scheduled a Friday vote to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling this summer.  Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he would pay the $5.9 billion cost of extending the loans with funds from what he called a healthcare “slush fund” set up for preventive care. It is believed that this may pass through the House, but fail in the Democratic Senate. The proposal comes a little under a month after Republican leaders passed their 2013 budget, which had a rate of 6.8 percent.

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