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Affordable Education: “We Will Find a Way”

Gina Barber

When I was in high school, my father used to tell me, “If you do the work, and you get accepted into a good college, we will find a way to get you there.”

Unfortunately for me, the financial crisis hit just as I was applying to college. All of a sudden, I had to seriously consider changing my choice of schools because the cost of tuition was just too high. I had worked hard all through high school to get straight A’s, but the Great Recession threatened to keep me from fulfilling my potential.

Fortunately, President Obama won the 2008 election, and he focused almost immediately on creating opportunities for students. For the last three years, I have been able to attend the University of Virginia as an out-of-state student because of my federal work-study paycheck and President Obama’s college tax credit.

The money I earn as a work-study student pays for my textbooks and school supplies.

In addition, my mother receives up to $2,500 per year with the college tax credit. This extra money gives her a little more flexibility in her budget, and has helped her bounce back from the economic downturn.

While some college students can easily “borrow money from [their] parents” to finance their education, many simply do not have access to the same resources. With the continually rising costs of higher education, more and more young people are falling behind financially. My generation will be split between those who could afford to pay for college, those whose student loans will seem more like a second mortgage, and those who could not attend college at all.

Rather than encouraging high school seniors to “shop around” for the best deal, President Obama is telling hard working students that they deserve to attend the best school that accepts them.

Because President Obama has worked tirelessly to create more options for college students during his time in office, I will be able to graduate college without any loans.

President Obama has had my back, so on November 6, I will have his.

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