Monday morning, students in Iowa City began waiting in line to get the “Golden Ticket.” Over the weekend, The University of Iowa announced President Barack Obama would visit campus on Wednesday to discuss college affordability, and that tickets were to be handed out at noon on Monday. By 10 AM, hundreds of students gathered in line at the Iowa Memorial Union in a line stretching about a quarter mile down the street
Thousands of people filed into the Field House to listen to the President’s plan to keep college affordable for all students. The gymnasium that the Hawkeyes us to play basketball was full of anxious students hours before the President was slated to speak. Overflow rooms were set up to watch the speech for students who could not fit into the main location.
Once he walked on stage, the crowd erupted with “Obama” chants. The crowd was as enthusiastic as Hawkeye fans before a home football game.
Obama spoke to the fired up crowd not only about how far we’ve come, but about how much further we have to go. Most of the students in the Field House that afternoon were still in high school in 2008, so for many of them this year will be the first time they are eligible to cast a ballot. That doesn’t mean the reforms haven’t affected them. From cutting the middle men out of the student loan process to capping monthly tuition payments, everything that we have achieved in the past 4 years have made it easier for students to pay for college.
Unfortunately, if Congress doesn’t act soon, interest rates are set to double on July 1, 2012 for all college students across the country. The president has called on Congress to take action, and now he needs your help. Use the new Letter to the Editor tool to tell your local or campus newspaper that you appreciate the investments that the President has made in higher education. And if you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate to let others know that you're standing with President Obama on keeping college affordable for all Americans.