Obama claims Romney will cut student loans if elected
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 22:09
Last month, President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of students at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, and said Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney recommended students who are financially unable to afford college to “shop around and borrow more money from your parents.”
Obama said if Romney is elected, he will cut funding toward student loans and grants, leaving 1 million students without federal aid.
Jim Holloway, compliance manager at Student Financial Services, stated in an email message that last year 9,945 students received a grant or a loan from a federal source. He said of those students, 2,217 received one or more federal grants and 9,563 students participated in one or more of the federal loan programs.
He said if Romney wins the presidential election and cuts funding, the university would not be able to provide the same amount of student loans and grants.
“If there are reductions in funding or programs are eliminated, by definition the level of support to students provided by those programs is going to be reduced or not available,” Holloway said.
Economics professor William Harris said students need to “look for the next best alternative.” He said he suggests working a part-time job to balance the cost throughout college, while ROTC programs and scholarships are also available to students.
Junior Hannah Mueller said she secured a loan and receives funding from a scholarship, and would still be able to afford college if Romney were elected.
“I am borrowing tuition money from my parents,” she said. “However, it is very unrealistic to expect all students to be able to borrow from their parents.”
Mueller said she thinks the number of college students would decrease if they were unable to afford tuition.
Economics professor James O’Neill said he thinks grants and loans are a large factor in a student’s decision to attend college.
“If we want to attract excellent students, we have to have certain programs that really provide incentives to excellent students,” he said.
Freshman Meghan Lenahan said she has taken out grants and loans in order to attend the university and probably would not be able to afford college if Romney were to cut the funding. She said she came to the university in order to save money, instead of attending her “dream school” which was more expensive.
Harris said he does not think cutting loans and grants will deter someone who is qualified and sufficiently motivated to attend college. He said he thinks it will force universities to offer a better value for students and families paying out of pocket.
Economics professor Vincent Marra said he believes if Romney cuts grants, a person with a lower income will have a harder time securing a loan.
He said his main concern regarding fewer grants and loans is an overall decrease in demand for a college education.
“The problem we’re going to face as a society is that we’re going to have a less educated population,” Marra said. “The thing that no one is talking about is that it’d have a long-term negative effect.”
Freshman Kyle Lusignea said he does not have any loans or grants and would be able to afford college if Romney is elected. He said he agrees with the republican candidate that students need to borrow more money from their parents.
“If you’re not using a loan you can come out of college without a lot of debt, and that’s pretty significant,” he said.
Although junior Laura Mullin said her parents pay for her tuition, she thinks if Romney were to cut student loans, “It wouldn’t end well.”
“My parents pay tuition and everything, but money’s tight as it is,” Mullin said. “We don’t need things getting any worse. Jack Cobourn contributed reporting to this article.