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"I couldn't go to college without it"

The President will be at CU-Boulder tomorrow to talk about college affordability and why it's critical that everyone have access to a good education. Young Americans will play a critical role in helping re-elect the President. Sign up here to volunteer today.

Justine S.

Justine S. is just the kind of student President Barack Obama’s higher education initiatives are designed to help.

The 26-year-old North Denver native has struggled to afford college. She enrolled at a community college in 2004 and now is a student at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she’s working on a political science degree. She has $10,000 in student loans and expects more debt if she attends graduate school. She recently had to take a break from school because she couldn’t afford tuition.

But her education is back on track now thanks to a Pell Grant and changes to the federal loan repayment program. “I now have a good plan to pay for college,” says Justine. “I definitely couldn't afford college without it.”

Because President Obama believes education is a means to achieving economic growth, he’s made it easier for students like Justine to pay back their federal college loans. Starting in 2014, new borrowers will pay no more than 10 percent of their disposable income. And, any remaining debt can be forgiven after 20 years. Those engaged in public-service professions — such as teachers, nurses, or members of the armed forces — can have their debt forgiven even sooner.

“I support Barack because he's the only guy for the job right now,” Justine says. “When it comes to my education, I have faith from what he’s already done that he’ll help with loan reduction.”

She also benefited from the Affordable Care Act, which allowed her to stay on her mother’s insurance until she found a job with coverage. “I didn’t realize how grateful I was until I had those extra two years,” says Justine, a campaign volunteer who is considering a career in politics herself.

“The economy is on a steady rebound. We’re headed in the right direction,” she says. “If we change the course it would be detrimental to the whole country.

“It took longer than 4 years to create this mess. It will take more than four years to fix it.”

For more information about student loan reform, check out the President's remarks calling on Congress to prevent student interest rates from doubling.

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