Increase in interest rates on federal student loans; Starbucks will cover abortion travel costs

Federal student loan interest rates are expected to rise for the 2022-23 academic year, following the US Treasury Department’s 10-year note auction.

The new rates will be 4.99% for undergraduate loans, 6.54% for direct unsubsidized graduate loans and 7.54% for PLUS loans. These rates will come into effect on July 1.

Each May, federal student loans get a new fixed interest rate for the upcoming school year. These rates are calculated by combining the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note with a fixed congressional premium of 2.05%.

With this increase, rates will now be the highest since the 2018-2019 academic year, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private student loans are also expected to see rate increases throughout the year.

Starbucks will cover abortion travel costs

Starbucks said Monday it will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to access abortion and gender confirmation procedures if those services are not available within 100 miles of a worker’s home.

The Seattle coffee giant said it will also make the travel benefit available to dependents of employees enrolled in Starbucks’ health care plan. Starbucks has 240,000 employees in the United States, but the company did not say what percentage of them are enrolled in its health care plan.

Starbucks is one of the most high-profile companies to adopt a travel allowance following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down the nation’s abortion rights.

Amazon also covers up to $4,000 in travel and accommodation costs for employees seeking non-life-threatening medical treatment, including abortions and gender confirmation procedures.

Tesla also said earlier this month that it would cover travel costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions.

Bernadine J. Perkins