As NYU students, we all know how painful our tuition is. Some of us have parents who have sold their first born (if not, an arm and a leg) for our education. Others will simply have tens of thousands of dollars of student loans post-graduation. What’s worse is that our situation is not improving, as the US government plans on DOUBLING student loan interest rates from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st, 2012. Statistics show that student loans are the second largest source of consumer debt, more than credit card debt and only behind home mortgages. The average student debt is over $25,000 and some even have over $100,000. The picture seems bleak, to say the least.
But fear not, Sternies, because we are fortunate to have a president that is extremely pro-education, as he reminded us with his 2011 State of the Union address. He is trying to convince congress to grant him a one-year reprieve, most likely to discuss the matter further before making such a critical change. It is clear that he does not want to make the choice of attending college restricted by financial insecurities, something he sees as trivial.
However, as the 2012 presidential election approaches, one might wonder if Obama is doing this because he cares about our wellbeing or if he just wants the college votes. The way I see it, it does not matter. His expression of concern and the fact that he is actually taking action is enough to win my, and undoubtedly every other NYUer’s, vote. Moreover, as a country that has made higher education increasingly necessary for finding a job, he will grab many parents’ votes as they would do anything to make their children’s college decision as financially painless as possible. While some may argue Obama should be focusing on other issues such as political instability in other countries or taxes, I think that directing his attention towards students should definitely be high on the list. After all, we are the future of tomorrow.