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Obama talks about college costs to packed UNLV audience

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 6/07/2012 4:22 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Less than two hours: that's how long President Obama was in Las Vegas.

What he left behind was a challenge for Congress and colleges to keep student costs down.

The president spoke today at a public speech at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion.

He urged congress to pass legislation that would keep student loan interest rates down.

If Republicans and Democrats don't come up with a compromise by the end of the month, student loan interest rates double for about 7.5 million students.

The president also talked about an executive order he just signed that would make it easier for students to get information about how to repay their student loans. Specifically he spoke about a repayment plan that caps the amount of a payment based on a student's income.

The president says he has first-hand experience on how long it can take to whittle down those student loans. He also talked about having the federal government help colleges that do their best to make school more affordable.

While the president spoke inside, about a dozen people protested outside the pavilion. Their concerns: too much spending, too much debt and not enough jobs.

Protesters say instead of coming to UNLV to talk about interest rates on student loans, Obama should be in Washington, fixing the problem. They call this visit nothing more than a campaign stop.

“People who believe the president's failed economic policies, and his lack of leadership,” said Thomas McAllister of the UNLV College Republicans.

“Young people are experiencing 12.9 percent unemployment. We just got the latest update for May with 8.2 percent unemployment from a national standpoint. We have over 50 percent of college graduates that won't be able to find a job this summer.”

Protesters say they didn't really expect President Obama to *see their signs today.
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