"In America, higher education cannot be a luxury. It’s an economic imperative that every family must be able to afford.” –President Barack Obama, April 21, 2012
This message is truly resonating. Growing up in an immigrant household that values education and academic achievement, I was constantly reminded of the importance of receiving my education in America’s world-class institutions. I believed that if I worked hard, I could easily attain access to a higher education; that it was a right I deserved. However, when I entered college in 2008, I realized that such an education comes with a steeper price tag than I expected. Later this year, when I graduate from college, I will not only leave with my diploma in hand, but also with thousands of dollars in student loans.
Sadly, my story is not unique—every day, millions of students feel the financial burden of receiving a college education. However, we’ve found significant relief through the progress President Obama has made in keeping college affordable.
Since assuming office, President Obama has taken numerous measures to alleviate the pressures on college students and their families—all aimed at making educational aspirations and dreams a reality. He has not only doubled funding for Pell Grants, but he’s also capped federal income-based student loan payments at a manageable level. In addition, President Obama created and extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit, providing families with up to $10,000 of tax relief over four years of college.
Keeping college affordable is a key component in the President’s blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—one that prepares Americans for jobs in the future and rewards hard work and responsibility. That’s why President Obama is calling on Congress to stop interest rates on federal student loans from doubling on July 1. For approximately 334,000 AAPI borrowers, that would mean an estimated average savings of $1,089 per Asian American student and $1,042 for Pacific Islander/Hawaiian Americans over the life of their loans. The estimated total savings would be $361 million, alleviating the financial burdens and educational barriers for thousands of families.
As an AAPI borrower, I truly understand the impact this could have on my future aspirations. My parents immigrated to the United States to continue their education and build better lives for themselves, in the hopes that their children would have greater opportunities to succeed. President Obama supports this by continuing to make education more affordable for AAPI families, like mine. He knows that it is simply unacceptable for me, and more than 7 million students, to pay an average of up to $1,000 more for federal student loans.
By fighting for the dreams of my family and families across the nation, President Obama is working to ensure that every American has a fair shot at receiving an affordable college education that can prepare them for the future. The President supports the aspirations of AAPI students nationwide, increasing our access to higher education by making education an American standard.
Say you stand by the President by adding your name here.