Now will you vote for her for president? by Gregory Cagle.
The cost of education increases every year. Estimates show that since 2004, tuition and fees for in-state residents at public colleges have gone up 40 percent when adjusted for inflation.
Students at CCNY know this all too well. Andrew Hill, a City College English major, worries about his tuition costs. “I became concerned with the mounting bills that’s accumulating,” says Hill, 26, and just out of the military. “Even with the G.I. bill I still had to take loans because financial aid didn’t cover the cost in full because of out-of-state fees.”
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hopes to help. She recently unveiled her plan to make college affordable. Clinton leans heavily on spending by the federal government, giving money to states that guarantee that students need not take out loans to cover the cost of tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. Her team is still working out the specifics, though Clinton also wants to lower student loan interest rates and make two-year community college programs tuition-free.
Debt-free education? Bring it. “My plan is to use as much of financial aid as possible” says Jake Vichnis, 23, City College student majoring in music technology. “The idea of being a graduate and barely debt-free makes my future more promising,” adds Vichnis. “This could not have come at a better time.”
Several Republicans have already raised a fundamental question about Mrs. Clinton’s plan: Will it really help cut college costs? Or will this just be another ploy to gain an influx of newly registered voters? After Mrs. Clinton’s announcement, Republicans in the race highlighted their own plans to reduce student debt and stem rising college costs. They believe in restructuring higher education, which would leave more students equipped for their desired fields and fewer working minimum wage jobs that are irrelevant to their education. They also favor limiting the federal government in education.
CCNY’s Cody Celestin also remains skeptical of the Clinton plan. “Why would I put my faith into Hillary Clinton and the Democrats?” says Celestin, 21, majoring in computer science. “The Democrats have been talking about education from administration to administration, so far nothing has changed. The price of a college education rises every year.”
Students like Chelsea Colon are focusing more on the bottom line than the race for president. “Whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in office the problem of rising education cost needs to be addressed,” says Chelsea Colon, 20, majoring in education. “If the money runs out from financial aid the next step for me is getting the book scholarships for dummies. My chances seem a lot brighter.”