SOTU: what you need to know

By Lauren Miller
Associate Editor-in-Chief of Online
Obama gave the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday where he talked about some very important proposals regarding college that affect us as students. According to AP Gov teacher Tim Beishir, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Make the first two years of community college freeobama-last-year

His goal in this is to open up the opportunity of a higher education to everyone and help students not acquire so much debt coming out of college. The idea is that a student could earn an associates degree and enter the workforce, or spend their first two years at community college before transferring to a university to finish their major. According to Beishir, if more students do the two years there and transfer route bigger universities costs could come down too as they would want to remain competitive.

  1. Higher taxes the wealthy and tax breaks for students

You may not pay taxes, nor know a thing about them, but this proposal is important for you to know. Obama stated that higher taxes on the wealthy would help pay for the cost of the two years of free community college. He also wants to implement bigger tax breaks for those paying student loans. This would help students pay off their college loans quicker and become a bigger part of the economy (more money to buy things) sooner.
It’s not necessary to sit through an hour long State of the Union address, but being that we are almost legal voters, it is important that we start to understand and follow politics. Though diving headlong into politics may seem daunting, it can be as simple as scrolling through your social media.
“Everybody that is a major political player is going to be hyperactive on social media;  you can follow people on Twitter or Instagram accounts, but you have to understand that that is all going to be very intentionally created content.” Beishir said, “So I might find trusted news sources to also follow on social media; you can follow the Washington Post or New York Times… I know [politics] might not be your interest, but you’re entering that phase where it’s your civic duty [to be informed].”