President Obama urged Congress on Friday to pass a new student-loan bill within the next month to prevent what he said would be a doubling of rates on government-subsidized loans for the nation's college students.

Appearing in the White House Rose Garden before an audience of students, Obama said: "If Congress doesn't act by July 1, federal student loan rates are set to double." He said the average student would rack up an additional $1,000 in debt.

Obama urged students to lobby lawmakers to improve on a House bill that the White House argues does not go far enough. He said it "fails to lock in low rates for students next year" and "eliminates safeguards for low-income families."