College students should be more concerned about these political issues

Ashley Reyes

Are you going to vote in this presidential election? According to recent demographics presented in television and the web, your answer is no.

According to http://onlinecolleges.net, 2008 was a landmark election year for the 18- to 29-year-old demographic, with 51 percent of qualified Americans within this age range showing up at the polls. Recent trends in polls have shown that young voters are less likely to turn to the polls which is unacceptable.

Although college students seem to be the most affected by political issues, there are big issues with finding jobs after college, tuition and loans, healthcare, gas prices and housing among many others.

“When I graduated college it was nearly impossible to find a job. I lacked experience but I had a degree, it was tough,” Gabriela Martinez, a recent California State San Marcos graduate said.

Jobs and the economy are a clear political issue for students. A 2010 Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement showed that voters between the ages 18 and 29 considered improving the economy the most pressing political issue with 59% reporting it as a primary concern.

Another issue is tuition and student loans which can overwhelm students after they graduate from college. The average cost of college annual tuition at a for-profit, four-year college is $35,000. Some college students go way over that number as well.

“My loans killed me … right when I graduated college, I had to take any job I could just to start paying of my loans,” FIDM graduate Anel Altamirano said.

Finding a job post-graduation to pay back those student loans is now harder than ever. Some students choose not to attend college simply to avoid being in debt once they graduate. Not only are these students cheated out of an education but they also lack the necessary education to compete in today’s job market.

Healthcare has been ranked the second most major political issue for voters between ages 18 and 29 according to the same poll. One state that has taken an active roll in making sure college students are covered is Idaho which requires all full-time college students to carry an insurance health policy.

Although gas prices affect everyone, they are of great concern to the college community. Constant fluctuation in gas prices gives students uneasy worry before the beginning of each semester.

“It feels like I just woke up one day and gas prices just jumped up out of nowhere. l commute to Saddleback every day so gas prices are my main political concern,” Joshua Reyes, Saddleback student, said.

The solution for some Saddleback students is to “go green” and put in the extra money to buy a hybrid or electric car but not everyone has that luxury available. College students should be informed on exactly what sort of policies dictate how their oil and gas travel from underground to their vehicle.

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