Editorial: Financial crisis to affect students and future of country for years to come

By Meghan Smith
October 9, 2008

As a college student, what is important to you? Your friends, grades, the Eagles’ score, weekend plans? Well, the current state of our economy should now become your top priority. Whether you realize it or not, this situation is going to directly affect our futures.

This crisis affecting the economy is one of the most significant events to occur during our lifetime and most college students are unaware of its severity. So much of our time is idly spent following celebrities and sports when we should be focusing on larger issues that actually impact our daily lives.

In less than one month, The United States of America will elect a new leader into the president’s office. Whoever is elected in November has the daunting task of leading our nation into uncharted waters. No one knows exactly what is going on and what is going to happen. These are all reasons that we should be investing our time into learning about these issues and how they affect both our families and us.

As a result of the credit crisis, America’s job market is going to be exceptionally tough to break into. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a net loss of 159,00 jobs in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 760,000.

We as college students, should try to secure our futures while we can by making sure we are marketable enough to land a job after graduation.

Graduating seniors are not the only students who should be worried about what will happen over the next few months and the job market is far from the only issue affected by the crisis.

For those still in college and the many who will be entering college come next fall, money will be difficult to find. Federally guaranteed loans that offer fixed, below-market rates may require higher fees to borrow money and some students may be turned away by banks from the start.

Two of the nation’s largest student loan organizations, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and The College Loan Corp., recently announced that they are going to temporarily stop making federally guaranteed loans.

So what does this mean? Basically that with the rising cost of tuition every year, college, for some, is going to become less affordable.

We need to be paying attention to these fiscal issues because in a few short years, we are going to be paying off our current loans as well as dealing with the aftermath of the credit crisis.

Our generation will be key to electing a president who will have to face some of the toughest decisions of our nation’s history. There is no reason or excuse for us to not be informed and not care about what lies ahead.

This isn’t something our parents are going to have to deal with. Come January, Barack Obama or John McCain will be leading our country for the next four years into the unknown and this unknown is our future. Therefore, it is imperative we invest at least a little of our time into learning about the issues that truly matter.

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Meghan Smith

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