President Obama greets young Americans and looks to his plans for the country’s future.

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Question 1: Higher Ed/Student Loans

I’m glad Stafford loan rates were kept low but so many Higher Ed issues aren’t being addressed, such as Why are interest rates on federal college loans so high, (e.g., the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents, etc.) despite interest rates being at record lows? And why, except in cases of extreme hardship, is it that private and federal college loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, whereas just about every other type of debt can be? How would you remedy these inequalities? If elected, what difference would high school and college age students see in the cost and affordability of a college education? — A combination of questions submitted by Jon D., 29 from NY, and Nikki R., 23, FL.

Question 2: Other/Character

What contribution would you most like to make to the world before you would leave the office of President? — Question submitted by a group of students from MA: Derek, 18, Stacey, 17, Tynisha, 18, Shaquille, 17, and Demetrius 16.

Question 3: Economy/Jobs

The unemployment rate of Millennials is 12%. This is a huge issue for us young Americans and doesn’t seem to be ringing any real alarm bells.  It’s a whole generation that wants work, but can’t find it. What is the master plan to change the prospects for people like me? — Question submitted by J.D., 26, from NJ.

Question 4: Education/Student Loans

It has become more difficult for poor students to get a Pell grant. What is the future of Pell grants with you as President? — Question submitted by Michelle M., 34 from CA.

Question 5: Economy: Government Spending/Taxes/National Debt

What are your plans to address the mounting federal debt in a way that enables our nation to meet the critical needs of vulnerable people with disabilities and their families? Do you support a balanced approach that includes both spending reductions and increased revenues? — Question submitted by Marian K., 25, from FL.

Closing Statement

President Obama summarizes his plans for the future of America’s youth. 


Paul Conway

Peter Levine

Debate Partners

Much thanks to our nearly 100 debate partners, totaling centuries of wisdom and over 100 million in reach, for their myriad support ranging from technology and outreach to youth issue insights and voter education. They’re definitely one the largest and most-loved assemblies of those who care about the future of America’s youth.

You can click below to learn more about some of our partners (and the amazing programs they’ve put together for the Election and beyond) including:

Harvard University’s Institute of Politics
Penn State University’s Center for
Democratic Deliberation
Tufts University’s CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
NASCAR Foundation
YWCA of the USA
YMCA of the USA
YMCA of the USA, Armed Services
United States Student Association
Voto Latino
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Rock the Vote
American Library Association’s YALSA
Earth Day Network
Youth Radio
Save the Children USA
Youth Service America
National Council of Teachers of English
Project Vote
Campus Progress
Generation Opportunity
National Civic League
New Era Colorado Foundation
The Right Question Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
The League of Young Voters Education Fund
Council for Economic Education
Center for Progressive Leadership
Points of Light’s GenerationOn
Black Youth Vote
Channel One
Constitutional Rights Foundation
10,000 Degrees
Scholarship America
Volunteers of America
The Corps Network
Blue Star Families
Kids Voting USA
The List
New Voters Project and Student PIRGs

Advisory Panel Experts

We’re very grateful for our more than 30 distinguished experts who have offered up their insights as to what questions and/or forthcoming solutions are most important to America’s future, including

MARGARET SPELLINGS (President of the U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, and former U.S. Secretary of Education)

PETER DIAMOND (winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics)

PAUL T. CONWAY (President of Generation Opportunity, Former Chief of Staff for US Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine Chao, and former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia)

FREDERICK HESS (Director of Education Policy Studies at The American Enterprise Institute, Executive Editor of Education Next, and author of the Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up”)

JOHN MERROW (PBS NewsHour Education Correspondent and winner of 18 Education Writers Association awards)

RONALD LIEBOWITZ (Middlebury College President and one of TIME’s “10 Best College Presidents”)

RON LIEBER (“Your Money” columnist and editor of the Bucks blog for The New York Times, and best-selling author)

JAY MATHEWS (education columnist for the Washington Post and creator of the annual Challenge Index rankings of high schools)

JESSICA ZOOB (SVP of Mergers and Acquisitions for American Express and regional board member of Bottom Line, a nonprofit which helps at-risk urban youth stay in college and complete their degrees)

LAUREN SEGAL (President & CEO of Scholarship of America)

KEITH GILYARD (President of National Council of Teachers of English and inductee into the International Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent)

WENDY KOPP (CEO/Founder of Teach for America)

MICHAEL GEISEN (2008 National Teacher of the Year), and many others.

BEN AUSTIN  (Executive Director of the Parent Revolution.)

STEPHEN BURD (Senior Policy Analyst with New America’s Education Policy Program)

STEPHANIE HIRSH (Executive Director of Learning Forward, an international association of learning educators)

J. MICHAEL HOGAN (Director, Center for Democratic Deliberation, Penn State University)

KEITH KREUGER (CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a national nonprofit organization that serves as the voice of K-12 technology leaders)

PETER LEVINE (Peter Levine is Director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement and Research director of Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service)

GREGORY MCGINITY  (Senior Director of policy for The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation)

DEBORAH MEIER (Senior Scholar at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Director and advisor to Forum for Democracy and Education)

KAREN PITTMAN (Co-founder of Forum for Youth Investment in 1998. Karen served in the Clinton administration as director of the President’s Crime Prevention Council)

CRAIG POWELL (CEO and Founder of ConnectEDU)

WENDY PURIEFOY (President of Public Education Network. Nationally recognized expert on issues of school reform and civil society)

PAUL ROWLAND (Executive Director of  The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE))

LAURA SIMOLARIS (Director of the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement at The Institute of Politics at Harvard University)

JASON WILLIAMS (Executive Director for Stand for Children – MA.)

ELLEN WINN (Executive Vice President for 50CAN, an org. whose mission is to bring the successful model of state-level education advocacy to states across the country)

BETH YOKE (Executive Director of The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association)