The government has announcedthe new rate on federal college studentloans—3.42% on loans issuedsince 1988, down from 4.06%. Thenew rate, the lowest in the history ofthe student-loan program, is a breakfor students and parents who are payingoff loans. Students who haven'talready consolidated their loans cando so when the new rates becomeeffective July 1, and lock in a rate aslow as 3.5% for the life of the loan,down from the current 4.13%. Once you consolidate, you can't do itagain. Students who figured lastyear's interest rate was as low as rateswould go can't reconsolidate at thenew rate if it's lower. For more informationon student loans, check withSallie Mae (www.salliemae.com).