Youth leaders and policy experts cited rising costs in education, health care, child care, and housing as key issues for winning the young vote in 2012.
The discussion at the Center for American Progress was based on a recent report from the think tank Demos and the Young Invincibles entitled “The State of Young America”.
Heather McGhee, Demos’ Washington Office Director, noted the report shows that while college tuition has tripled over the last few decades, federal aid has been cut in half. A maximum pell grant that she said covered 69 percent of costs in 1980, today only covers 34 percent. She added that in 2010 the amount of student debt surpassed that of credit card debt and 76 percent of participants in the study reported it has become harder in the last five years to afford college.
McGhee said these numbers make young people “more oriented towards public solutions, more willing to pay higher taxes for higher degrees of service from the government than any generation since the depression generation.”