As November 6 draws near, the presidential candidates have different sides for the skyrocketing cost of a college education. This debate has hit here hard for Bloomsburg students and staff about the issue of the high cost of an education.
“Everyone agrees that college education is important,” said the Director of Financial Aid John Bierlya. He is concerned how college loans are not a major part in the campaign where it is a huge issue.
President and Democratic nominee Barack Obama is supporting for more federal need for the students to pay for school. As for the Republican nominee Mitt Romney he argued that federal borrowing would only jack up the price to get a college education. With that, Romney would plan to eliminate the federal aid programs, as for Obama he supports it and wants to keep interest rates low.
With Bloomsburg being one of the 14 PASSHE state schools with below national average tuition rates, Bielya sees the population on campus growing along with the request for financial aid, “Steady more requests for financial aid are filed over the years since student population is increasing.”He said, “regardless whose elected I don’t see a major issue is dwarfed by the economy.” He stated that college costs have been a long-standing debate and won’t be resolved very quickly. Even with the Presidential campaign going on, the issue was only brought up a few times.
According to passhe.edu site, tuition in the state school increased only 3% for the 2012-13 academic year and 420 million dollars are provided from the state budget. For years the schools have been cuts millions from their programs and hiking up fees in order to maintain the low costs.
Currently there are 120,000 students attending the 14 state schools and enrollment is increasing every year. Though with the “low” costs, paying for it is not easy for everyone here and still as students we take out loans.
Aaron Gray, senior international relations major, understands the feeling of borrowing money and the impact on college costs on him.
“I have to take out loans, have a job while at school right after classes,” he said. “It’s difficult to pay even 12,000 dollars and very difficult to come by.”
Gray explained how he hears from his friends how hard it is to pay bills, school, housing and soon once graduated they have to pay back the loans. He is concerned about the rising costs of education.
When asked who he’s going to vote for the upcoming election, he said, “Not for Romney, but not for Obama, I don’t know yet.” He said he wants to hear more from both sides to further explain their plans about the college costs. Gray also wants the government to support getting a higher education and to try to push education to citizens.