I have some great news for UCF students: Congress finally reached a deal to stop the interest rates from doubling on federally subsidized student loans for another year. After weeks of argument over how the cost would be covered, the two parties agreed to pay for the deal by raising premiums for federal pension insurance.
This is a great moment for students because it gives hard-working collegiates a fair shot at affording their education. In total, 7 million students will be affected. The average student won’t have to put up an extra $1,000 on their student loans, and students with the most need won’t have to worry about paying an extra $5,000 on their loans. This deal represents an investment in students, putting faith in our future and our potential for greatness.
Not only does this deal ensure that our interest rates stay the same, but it also emphasizes the importance of the student vote and student voice in politics.
Congress needs to make sure that the policies that are approved are made with students in mind. Some might think that students and young people are a separate part of the constituency, or that we don’t realize that government policies will affect our futures and us, but it is our job as young Americans to prove them wrong. We need to act on our own behalf — whether that’s by voting, organizing or getting our voices out through other outlets. For those of you who would label yourself as “uninformed,” take the initiative to learn how these big policies affect you and your loved ones on a personal level. For those of you who are already very familiar with the issues, you need to be out there encouraging other students to join the cause that will expand those policies and beliefs.
There are people in Congress making decisions who may not live to see the consequences of their actions. The others are people who are fighting for the rights of young Americans because they know that we want our country to move forward in a way that’s inclusive of our needs, not in a way that projects that a student voice doesn’t need to exist.
On Nov. 6, the student vote will decide which path this country will take — and the two choices could not be any more different. The contrast between the two candidates is stark, and the lines of separation could not be any clearer. The student vote is critical in this election, and one thing that both parties can agree on is that this election is the most important one of our lives. So, as a student, do you want to put the country’s car in drive or in reverse? That’s what your vote will decide.
Take the first step today and register to vote. Or if you’re already registered to vote, update your address to where you live for nine months of the year — at UCF. Vote for the representatives who will not only amplify your voice as a student but also make your voice their priority.
Anyone interested in writing a column for the Opinions section at the Central Florida Future can contact the Opinions Editor, Kaley LaQuea, at firstname.lastname@example.org.