History in the making

The 2008 election is showing record amounts of registered student voters throughout the country and students at Sam Houston State are gearing up for what will be an historic election.

“This is an exciting election with so many young people becoming involved,” Senior Travis Meyer said. “The candidates are more diverse, and this election offers a significant change from anything we have seen before. I didn’t even vote in the last election because I didn’t feel any connection with the candidates, so I’m excited that I have voted in this election.

With so much campaigning going on all over the SHSU campus and throughout the nation, students are getting excited about voting.

“I feel it is very important to vote in this election,” Freshman Kara Anders said. “Either way, whoever wins, we will change history. We will either have the first woman vice president, or the first African American president.”

Yet with the economy in danger, some students are feeling apprehensive about the election.

“I’m hoping for the best and trying not to expect the worst,” Freshman Brittany Winner said. “Either way it turns out, it might be a long time before America gets back on its feet again.”

Important issues that college students need to take into consideration when darkening the circles on their ballots are the stances both candidates take on financial aid and student loans.

Senator Barack Obama supports expanding Pell Grants, which are student loans that do not need to be paid back, for low-income students. He pledges to re-adjust the maximum amount awarded every year to take into account the inflationary costs of college tuition.

Obama also wants to end government subsidies to the Federal Family Education Loan Program, which provides students and their families with expensive student loans. Instead, Obama wants to redirect this money to the publicly funded Direct Loan system, which provides lower cost loans for students.

One of Senator John McCain’s goals is to simplify the financial aid system.

He believes that too many programs and a complicated application process have discouraged many eligible students from seeking financial aid.

The number of programs also makes it more difficult for financial aid officers to help students navigate the process. McCain believes consolidating programs will help simplify the administration of these programs and help more students have a better understanding of their eligibility for aid.

McCain also wants to fix student-lending programs by expanding the lender-of-last resort capability of the federal student loan system; he also plans to command the highest standard of integrity for the participating private lenders.

With both candidates promising change, no matter who is chosen, college students and the nation are hoping for a president who will stitch the economy back together.

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