It All Comes Down to This! Election Day-November 6th, 2012

6 Nov
What’s next for the United States?

Today is the day voters, election day that is! By the end of this day, November 6th, 2012, the next President of the United States will be decided.  The future of higher education will also be decided with the outcome of this election.  As I have stated previously, if President Obama is to be re-elected, more government funding will be put towards colleges and universities and the funding for the Pell Grant Program will also increase. If Governor Mitt Romney becomes the 45th President of the United States, government regulation of higher education institutions will be replaced with the government’s encouragement of innovation and competition among these institutions. So who, or should I say what, are you voting for America? Which candidate/strategy do you think will increase accessibility to higher education and reduce the $1 trillion student loan debt in America? With those ages 18 to 24 years old enrolled in college increasing from 35% in 2000 to 41% in 2010, it is clear that this is an age group that will be largely impacted by the new President’s higher education policies.  Since members of this age group, including myself, have the right to vote, I would like to focus on what these young adults will be voting for today.

Approximately one year ago today, The Institute for College Access and Success conducted a survey of U.S. adults ages 18-34 to see what they believed were the most important concerns in regard to higher education.  The survey found that regardless of their party affiliation, the majority of those surveyed felt that a college degree was more important than ever to obtain but also more difficult to afford.  73% of those surveyed believed that college graduates are coming out of college with amounts of student loan debt that they cannot handle. Also, 75% were opposed to cutting Pell Grant funding and 73% opposed charging students interest on their federal loans even when these strategies were shown as ways to reduce the federal deficit.  The bottom line is that this young adult age group, at least 68% of them, want Congress to make the affordability of college and the reduction of student loan debt a top priority.   If the President was to be chosen by those who participated in this survey, it is clear that Barack Obama would come out on top seeing as the majority of those surveyed oppose cuts to the Pell Grant program and President Obama has already proposed a plan to increase funding for this program. But since the President will be chosen by everyone voting in the nation and not just young adults, college students and those concerned with higher education policies will also have to depend on other voters to take their concerns about college costs and student debt into account while voting.

Young adults will find out tonight whether or not their “voices” were heard in the 2012 Presidential Election.  Will Obama be able to implement his plan for more funding for Pell Grants and his student loan reform? Will Romney be allowed to reduce federal spending on education to encourage competition and lower tuition costs? The answer to these questions is left up to you America.  Happy Election Day!

2011_Young_Adult_Higher_Ed_Poll_NR-click here for the report regarding the survey conducted by The Institute for College Access and Success

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5 Responses to “It All Comes Down to This! Election Day-November 6th, 2012”

  1. keepcalmanddebateon November 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Great post! I’m anxious to see who our next president will be. What is the average amount of debt that college students graduate with? Also, why do you think most college students tend to vote on the liberal and democratic side of things?

  2. mixedupmind November 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I think college students tend to vote on the democratic side of things because of the democrats’ higher education policies. President Obama and the democratic party appeal to college students by adding funding to the Pell Grant program and capping the amount that graduates will pay back on their loans each month based on their income. Democrats support government involvement in higher education institutions because they believe that increased regulation will lead to lower tuition costs. Lower tuition costs means satisfied college students. The average student loan debt that college students now graduate with is $27,000. I think the reason college students do not tend to vote on the republican side is because of the lack of regulation republicans support. Students, myself included, fear that if colleges are left to their own devices without government involvement, their tuition and debt will continue to increase. Republicans, like Mitt Romney, also support cutting funding for the Pell Grant program which would cause a decrease in the number of students supported and allowed to attend college by this program.

  3. theironbaker November 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    If student debts stay high, and the number of college students decline, do you think other areas of the country will start to suffer? Like the economy and unemployment?
    Because I heard somewhere that right now there are high level jobs open just no one to fill them. So if there aren’t as many college graduates, will these companies have to lower their standards?

    • mixedupmind November 8, 2012 at 1:28 am #

      A decline in the amount of college graduates will inevitably hurt America’s economy as well as its’ standing in the global economy due to a decrease in skilled/educated workers. I also think that if student debts stay high and the number of graduates decreases that yes, unemployment will increase as less people will have the skills employers are looking for. As for companies lowering their standards, I believe they would resort to assigning more tasks to the educated workers they already have before they lower their standards. A lowering of standards would only add to the cycle of hurting the economy by giving jobs or tasks to those who are not skilled enough to fulfill them. A possible reason for the lack of people available to fill these high level jobs could be the recent budget cut that took away subsidized loans from graduate students. With higher interest rates on their loans, many possible graduate students could’ve been driven away from pursuing an advanced degree needed to fill these high level jobs.

  4. befuddlesme November 8, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Do you think this issue will have a significant impact on the results of the election? How will the choices of the winning candidate really affect the U.S. economy in the future and help college students?

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