Thanks to student loans, Pell Grants, scholarships, and G.I. bills, higher education has gone from being something that only financially well-off families can attain to a reality for nearly all families.
But presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinks that is no longer necessary.† College should only be for those who can afford it without assistance.† If you can’t, find a cheaper school or just forget about it.
Speaking at a campaign stop, Romney explained, ďIt would be popular for me to stand up and say Iím going to give you government money to pay for your college, but Iím not going to promise that. Donít just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully youíll find that. And donít expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.Ē
As David Firestone of the New York Times stated, “Thatís the face of modern Republican austerity. Donít talk about the value of higher education to the countryís economic future, and donít bother to think about ways to make it more accessible to strapped families. Tell students not to take on more debt than they can afford, wish them well, and move on.”
College costs have skyrocketed in recent years, and not just among the private schools.† With budget cutbacks in many states across the country, public universities are losing subsidies they have grown to rely on as well, and have had to increase their tuition costs dramatically to compensate.† Scholarships are at a premium as more students become unable to afford the full costs of school, and student loan use is almost ubiqitous.
And sadly, with a job market that has been brutal to those under the age of 25, paying off those loans can be a nearly hopeless prospect.
Romney’s answer to that?† He supports Republican attempts to cut Pell grants, which help fund lower income students.† Instead, he says “hopefully” you’ll find an affordable school that is good enough, but otherwise, it’s not his problem.
In Romney’s world, a college education is apparently not meant for everyone.† Just the rich.
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