President Barack Obama visited Georgia Tech March 10 to speak about college affordability. He was there partly because of a letter written to him by Georgia Tech student Tiffany Davis, in which she expressed concerns about student loans. Davis introduced the President to a crowd of over 10,000 in the McCamish Pavilion.
This visit came just a few days after Obama revealed his Student Aid Bill of Rights, which he talked about extensively near the end of his speech.
Obama was excited and giggly at the beginning of his speech, interacting with a student who said “Thank you!” when he expressed how good the crowd looked.
“I wasn’t directing it specifically at you, but you do you look pretty good – what do you think?” he said, laughing.
He thanked Davis for her letter and revealed that she said she wrote it to procrastinate on Thermodynamics homework. He laughed and said that he procrastinates sometimes, and then asked Tiffany if she got it done, to which she replied that she did.
After thanking some people, he got into the meat of his speech. He said, “…the message I want to deliver today, not just to you but to the entire country, is the entire nation has to treat (education) as a priority.”
He said that the economy is growing steadily, which is good news for students who are almost graduating. He expressed that American needs a growing middle class, and that a college degree “is the surest ticket to the middle class and beyond.”
He spent the majority of his speech talking about how expensive college is, but also showing that it is worth the money. He also talked about how he’s made it easier by a large reform to the student loan program. He said that the program has saved billions of dollars by expanding tax credits and Pell grants, keeping interest rates low, and allowing caps on loan payments based on income.
He also mentioned his free community college program, as well as the Student Aid Bill of Rights, which “says every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education.” He asked everyone to sign it so that the goal is united.
He ended the speech by saying that everyone can succeed because “every American should have the right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.”