READY TO VOTE: The Senate was set to vote Wednesday on legislation that would link federally subsidized Stafford loan interest rates to the financial markets, providing lower rates for all college students this fall but perhaps resulting in higher rates in the years ahead.

NOT ALL IN FAVOR: The Senate compromise closely hews to what House Republicans passed. Critics are calling the White House-backed proposal a bait-and-switch measure that would cost future students.

RATE FLOAT: Interest rates doubled to 6.8 percent July 1. Under the deal, undergraduates this fall could borrow at 3.9 percent, graduate students at 5.4 percent, and parents at 6.4 percent. Those rates would rise as the economy picks up, with caps.

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