In the upcoming election, every vote counts. And in the contest for increasingly coveted votes, First Lady Michelle Obama will host a conference call with students on Thursday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. (EST) to discuss the 2012 election. Obama will be on the call to discuss what is at stake in this election. But even before the call begins, we already know something about the issues that should be on the minds of young voters heading to the polls in November.
Does the current public education system adequately prepare students for the halls of academia? Education reform will and should be on the minds of all voters. With African-Americans relying so much on public education, they have a personal stake in seeing that whoever the next president will be, he will advocate for improving the education system.
The future for college coeds is in jeopardy as Pell grants, during tight financial times, face the budget ax. If current budget trends aimed at trimming the deficit continue, the Pell grant program may suffer damage. New guidelines currently do not allow students to use Pell grants for summer classes. Unless young people make their case known, more cuts may be on the horizon.
And for those who are fortunate enough to go to college, student loan debt awaits them once they earn their degree. The Obama administration has been outspoken about its desire for Congress to act so that student loan interest rates, set to double on July 1, won’t add an extra $1,000 of annual debt on the backs of students.
Then there is the job market, which is unsteady to say the least. Even the brightest college graduates may find disappointment as the grim employment picture puts them in a situation of delaying homeownership, marriage or paying off student loans and other debts. During the 2008 election, young voters proved to be a powerful voting block for the Obama campaign. But concerns about the direction of the economy have prompted the administration to use the first lady to reach to young voters.