Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read Sarah Healey's thoughts from a left-leaning perspective:
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Reflecting on my college experience, I know that the knowledge I gained was well worth my parents' tuition payments. Going to college was the driving force behind my hard work in high school, prompting me to wonder if the opportunity to attend college, with government subsidization, would improve academic motivation in high school students who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford the costs of higher education.
To Subsidize or Not to Subsidize
For college to become a reality for more Americans, funds must become available to offset the cost of tuition. The federal government, under President Obama, is willing to offer money to this end. Obama has increased funding for Pell Grants and reformed student loan repayment for college graduates. By accepting the cost of higher education, Obama is offering an improved future to students who, without aid, would be denied this advantage.
Mitt Turns His Back
Mitt Romney, however, is again bowing to conservatives: poo-pooing federal funding for students who would be college bound if not for the cost. As governor of Massachusetts he created the Adams Scholarship to subsidize Massachusetts public universities for high school students who graduated in the top 25 percent of their class, but didn't have funding for college.
Unfortunately he no longer touts this development. Romney advocated for new approaches to improve the quality of K-12 education in public schools on his campaign website. Improving the standards of public education is a necessary undertaking, but doesn't broach the question of college or vocational schools. Denying our youth the possibility of higher education means denying them the opportunity to get better jobs, or better yet, achieve their dreams.
Chasing the American Dream
Squelching opportunities for young Americans will only stifle their desire to learn and succeed as adults. Obama's empowerment through financial aid is proof that he believes in the success of our country through motivated young people. Shouldn't all students have the opportunity to work hard for an education that can change their lives? I'm glad I did.