Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who represents the University of Minnesota, announced Thursday he will co-sponsor legislation to prevent an increase in student loan interest rates.

Congress passed reductions to undergraduate Stafford Loans in 2007. The legislation imposed a 3.4 percent interest rate on the subsidized Stafford loans. If the reduction is allowed to expire in July, that rate will double to 6.8 percent.

"The American Dream used to mean something. If you worked hard, you could go to college, get a good-paying job, and not be saddled with excessive debt," Rep. Ellison said in a press release. "With interest rates skyrocketing, that dream is slipping away. If Stafford loan rates doubled, thousands of Minnesotans would be affected. We tell our children to get an education, and we owe it to them to keep that door to the middle class open."