With all the chaos surrounding the upcoming election, the candidates always try and pull different demographics to support their campaigns. These presidential candidates have their eyes set on one group in particular, the Millennials.
The Millennials, otherwise known as the portion of the population born between 1980 and 1998, now have the largest population in the country, even surpassing the Baby Boomers. They have become the target of research, not only because of their size, but because of their lifestyles. The Millennials are the first generation to be raised with technology, including the internet, social media and cellphones. This has geared a whole new way of thinking toward political, social, and economic issues.
When it comes to politics, the Millennials are more likely to not choose a political affiliation as well as not vote. Most feel they are not represented and feel their vote does not count. As stated by Russell Dalton of The Washington Post, “When candidates actually speak to the concerns and interests of the young, more are drawn into the electoral process.”
With this election, Trump and Clinton, as well as Sanders, catered policies to directly influence the millennials and encourage their participation in the election process.’ One such policy that is being highly talked about is that of free college. Both Clinton and Sanders advocated for their policies that would make public universities tuition free for families that make less than $125,000 a year. They also promise to help those out of college that are struggling with crippling student debt.
This sounds very appealing, especially with the cost of college being what it is, however is it plausible? Unfortunately, if this plan were to be carried out it would plunder quite fast. “While these goals are the right ones, the reality is that free public college would make it harder to achieve them,” explained Kevin James of U.S. News. If college were to be free, more students would be applying to institutions causing the acceptance rates to fall. These colleges would not have the room to house, as well as educate the growing number of students entering the college life.
Another issue that would surface would be the quality of the education. With large class sizes, would students be receiving the attention they need from their professors as well as their advisors? The idea of free college is the golden ticket many have been looking for. To be given the opportunity to earn a college degree without the worry of finances is only found in the most idealistic societies, not in the current state of the United States.
Hopefully, Trump and Clinton will create more policies in the coming weeks, and later on in one of their presidencies, that will cater more toward the Millennial crowd. Until then, we must sit back and hope our voices are louder than the rest of the noise.