What Will the Candidates Do for College Students?
In 2008 the amount of student voters rocked national records more than in any previous election. The new generation, often referred to as “The Millennials,” again has the chance to rise once more in November. Both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney have taken firm stances on student issues.
Education, both secondary and collegiate, recently became a serious concern in the election. For the first time inAmerica’s history, student loan debt is higher than the credit card debt.
Starting in 2014 the president would push for a bill which would change the requirements for student loan forgiveness. Instead of remaining at 25 years of consistent payments, students would have their loans forgiven after 20 years of consistent payments. If students are in a public service like teaching, nursing or the military, they would have their loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment. Student loans would gradually change as private companies work with the Department of Education to end wasteful subsidies and free up almost $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction.
Gov. Romney believes that the amount of federal dollars going into student loans is what drives up the debt, leaving new college graduates with few job opportunities. There will be a push for other models of advanced skill training for those who wish to focus on something different from the traditional four-year college degree. The financial aid system will be simplified and strengthened in order to keep students aware of what types of debt they can expect to acquire. Students can expect to see student loans with companies in the private sector if Gov. Romney is elected president.
Both candidates have similar, yet still distinct ideas of how to strengthen the secondary education system. President Obama and Gov. Romney agree that good teachers need to be rewarded for their work and should have incentives to stay in the classrooms. President Obama is working towards supporting the jobs of those educators. Gov. Romney wishes to do the same for industrious teachers, allowing for increased flexibility and removing the unnecessary certification requirements for new teachers. Both candidates want the local and state governments to be more proactive in their school systems.
The major difference between the two plans is federal government interaction with the states. President Obama worked to repeal No Child Left Behind, the educational reform begun in the Bush administration. He instead wants to continue Race to the Top, which allows more communication between students, parents, teachers and school administrations to understand internal problems and increase resources for low-performing schools. Gov. Romney wishes to revise No Child Left Behind to emphasize transparency so that parents can more easily become involved in their children’s education while also empowering the local and state governments to instigate positive changes.
It is now up to the newly graduated and current college students to vote. For more information about President Obama’s educational plan, visit www.barackobama.com/education. For more concerning Gov. Romney’s plan about the future of education, visit www.mittromney.com/issues/education.