Candidates on financial aid

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Bronwen Gerber

The Corsair

College students attend school for better career opportunities after graduation.

For many graduates, this preferably involves jobs and a sufficient salary to pay off student loans. College is a big part of an American’s life, educationally and financially.

Being aware of each of the presidential candidate’s stance on financial aid and student loans is important because this will directly affect college students.

Both Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama addressed the hardships of college students at their respective national conventions.

Romney stated, “Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now. A place for their own. They could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.”

As for Obama, he determinedly said, “No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.”

So how do the candidates measure up?

The situation for Federal Pell Grants is the following:

Romney has not given any detailed plan of how he would handle Pell grants if he was elected.

However, the 2013 budget proposal overseen by Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is quite clear: Pell grants would be reduced, and eligibility for them would be tightened.

It still is not clear whether Romney completely adheres to this.

Obama claims, on his website, to have doubled funds for Pell grants during his time in office.

It is to be noted this has come at a price. For instance, eligibility for Pell grants was reduced, but not as drastically as Ryan suggests, and the screws were tightened on Stafford loans for graduate students.

As for the future, Obama does not plan on reducing Pell grants. On the contrary, he would increase the limit of the maximum grant in order to follow inflation.

A distinct point of difference between the two candidates is their approach to a stronger working force.

While Romney is more interested in being able to provide plentiful jobs for students once they graduate, Obama is more insistent on helping students finance the best education they can get.

He has started the “Pay as you Earn” program which has brought monthly federal loan repayment down to 10 percent of graduates’ discretionary income.

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