How Mitt Romney Can Help You.

Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty Images

As many of you know, we have a problem in the United States where many students take out massive amounts of student loans to deal with the rising tuition costs.  To make matters worse, as a result of unemployment students are not able to get jobs and can’t pay back their debt.

While the issue of affordable higher education is a priority to students, it remains a key issue in both the Obama and Romney campaigns.  Governor Romney and President Obama have both said they believe education is the key to economic prosperity, but they offer vastly different solutions to make higher education more affordable.

Over the last three years, the federal government made dramatic changes to increase access to federal student aid and to help mitigate the cost of college for a greater number of low-income students.  These well-intended changes have led to funding problems in the Pell Grant program, including a 6 billion dollar funding gap that is now projected for fiscal year 2014.  And maintaining the Pell Grant program in the short-term has come at the expense of other low and middle-income students.  However, President Obama still believes that making the federal government the direct source of federal student loans along with increasing Pell Grants will drive down tuition costs.

But, a flood of federal dollars is driving costs out of control and burdening too many young Americans with substantial debt and too few opportunities.  Basic economic theory suggests that the increase in demand for higher education brought about by the system of grants and loans will increase the price of higher education, NOT make it more affordable.

Governor Romney realizes that more spending will not solve the problem of tuition increases.  Instead, his proposal has meaningful reforms to help guarantee that every student can find a rewarding job and realize his or her full potential.  He calls for market-based reforms, which would shift more government functions to the private sector, which would provide students with diverse and affordable options to combat costs.

The bottom line is that a college education is not a ticket to the middle class or beyond if graduates cannot land good jobs.

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