A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

Who Should College Students Vote For In This Coming Election?

As Published in Cal Poly Pomona’s Uloop.

Both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention came and went sowing seeds of patriotic pride for their own political party and a boost of enthusiasm for the coming Presidential election. The candidates spoke behind pedestals, buttons and silly hats were passed out to the conventions’ attendees, and all of the networks’ lights and television cameras captured images of old men yelling at empty chairs. It was an interesting and uplifting turn of events, but after the stage was wiped clean of all the red, white and blue streamers and confetti, do you know who you should really vote for?

As a college student, the biggest issues on your mind are obviously the cost of education, financial aid, and the quality of your education. You’re looking for a candidate who can help keep higher education within the reach of all students willing to further their education and for aid to be there if you’re unable to do this.

This college student gets it and wants the same things for her education. We’re all at an understanding with each other, but it’s safe to say that not all the Presidential candidates have your best interest at heart. When it comes down to it, Mitt Romney just doesn’t get our current situation with higher education.

When asked about high interest rate student loans and the large cost of higher education Romney responded by saying, “what I’m going to tell you is shop around.”

…Thanks.

Romney has supported abolishing the federal Department of Education, he suggests that students should just borrow money from their apparently “rich parents” to start a business or go to college, and to just “shop around” for these magical affordable loans if your “rich parents” don’t want to foot the bill.

Romney would rather put private lenders back in the business of issuing federally backed student loans, and let companies assemble data about lending and colleges for consumers, which we have all seen before has never actually worked.

Ryan’s budget for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates would make the rates double to 6.8 percent forcing college grads to pay more after they walk the stage and grab their diploma. The GOP duo just doesn’t get it. Their plans are making it even harder for students to get through school, but if the Romney and Ryan ticket isn’t the way to go, who should college students vote for?

Well first off, Obama has proposed to keep the interest rates at 3.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates. The President would let the current $5,550 per year maximum Pell grant increase to $5,635 next year, as scheduled under current law which means more aid available for those who need it. He also wants to have more federal aid accessible, including Perkins loans and subsidies for students’ work-study jobs, so that schools can limit tuition increases.

“I want to make sure everybody understands (that) not everybody has parents who have the money to lend,” President Obama said. “That may be news to some folks, but it’s the truth.”

President Obama understands that education is important and that in order to better America and the next generation we have to invest in the edification of our youth. He also understands the weight that is placed upon students trying to pay back all of those student loans.

“We paid more for our student loans than we paid on our mortgage each month, and that went on for years,” Obama said. “And then once we had Malia and Sasha, we needed to start saving for their college educations, but we were still paying off our college educations.”

Obama’s student loans were eventually paid off about eight years ago but meanwhile, under the Ryan budget, $115 billion will be cut to the Education Department over the next 10 years. Romney has stated that he supports the Ryan budget in general, but as usual, he hasn’t addressed that specific question.

Obama has even said it himself, “Getting the best possible education has never been more important than it is right now. And that’s because in today’s world, a good job requires a good education. I travel all across the country, I go into factories, I go into companies. And it doesn’t matter where you are working, if you do not have a good education you are not going to be able to succeed. And that includes being on the factory floor these days, because most of the equipment is highly technical.”

President Obama gets it and he’s actively addressing the issue and trying to do something about it. Romney, on the other hand, is sort of pouring more coffee onto a Starbucks spill that has ruined your physics homework and is just making the situation worse.

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