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College Costs and Campaign Elections: Hand in Hand?

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As you plan for your next year of college, you may be wondering how you will pay for it. The facts are rough.

The average total cost of a private school is $32,000

A public in state school will cost $13,000

These numbers are up by 22 percent in the last five consecutive years, and there is likely no change in sight. Or, could there be?

Each of the main candidates running for President of the United States have said they want to help curb the costs of a college education. As voting members of the country, college students should explore the candidates and their stance on college costs, whenever possible to do so.

Parents of college students are worried, too. While they saved and saved over the years to pay for school, their college savings plans haven’t done enough to help encourage them. That’s because many of the best laid plans still haven’t been profitable enough for many students. They simply need to turn to school loans more often than ever.

Barack Obama on Education

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama has a plan. He says his plan will help make college education something that most people are able to get. In Indianapolis, Indiana, Mr. Obama said, “We will give you the money you need to afford a college education without going $30,000 or $40,000 into debt. And in exchange, you are going to participate in community service.” He also is highly recommending a $4000 tax credit for college students to help offset the costs of college tuition and fees.

Hillary Clinton on Education

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has a plan too. She says she wants to give students provide two years of national service and then they would receive a $10,000 scholarship for doing so. She too wants to see a sizable tax credit (in the amount of $3,500) to help off set the costs. She wants to help expand the Pell Grant. Yet another method for helping the college student offered by Clinton is offering to invest up to $500 million into community colleges.

John McCain on Education

Presidential Candidate John McCain has a plan for college students, too. He wants to make education more available to the student. He wants to see the Department of Education work more closely with each state’s governors to be sure that each of them has the “state’s guarantee agency has the means and the manpower to meet its obligation as a lender of last resort for student loans,” he says. He also said, “In the years ahead, these young Americans will be needed to sustain America’s primacy in the global marketplace. And they should not be denied an education because the recklessness of others has made credit too hard to obtain.”

One thing remains clear. Each of these presidential candidates will need to do something to make student loans easier to get, more affordable and to help students have been educational opportunities available to them. With the cost of education continuing to rise, and even the most lucrative of investment strategies being employed by many parents, the risks of not have money for school are very real.


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