College students: get off your duffs and vote! In case you need a good reason to do so, here are five:
1) Politicians will pay more attention to college students and their issues if they vote
So why don’t politicians pay more attention to the issues that you care about, like the price of tuition, financial aid, and the availability of entry level jobs? Because traditionally, college students have had relatively low voter turnout. Instead, the candidates pay lots of attention to issues of importance to the elderly, like Social Security, because the elderly vote!
Fortunately, voter turnout among college students is increasing, and the candidates (especially Obama) are paying closer attention to student needs. This trend will only continue if students demonstrate that they have excellent voter turnout, and therefore are a group to be taken seriously by politicians.
2) College affordability is a serious concern
As you are well aware, the average cost of a college education has become out of reach for many students and their families, and the price of college has dramatically outpaced inflation — which means that college has become significantly less affordable than it was when your parents went to school. This directly affects your life and your future, and politicians need to know that this matters! Research the candidates’ positions on tuition reform and keep this closely in mind when you vote.
3) Financial aid is a serious concern
Politicians can make a major difference when it comes to how much financial aid you receive. The Bush administration has been slow to make changes to increase the Pell Grant and to make it easier to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. And now that the country’s in the middle of a credit crunch, student loans may well become harder to get, so it’s imperative that you research the candidates’ positions on financial aid and vote accordingly.
4) This election is crucially important for all young people
So guess who inherits the financial mess created by the mortgage crisis, and the implications of global warming, and the aftermath of the current policies and conflicts in the Middle East?
5) You don’t want them to think you’re apathetic and lazy, do you?
Students have a reputation for being lazy and unconcerned about what’s going on in the world. Some of this is because older people always like to whine about “those young people today,” so to some degree, this stereotype won’t entirely go away. But if this is a stereotype you don’t want people to have about college kids, do something about it.