Obama reaches out to students

Erica Siciliano

President Barack Obama entered homes Thursday afternoon, answering questions from young Americans, giving attention to their apprehensions and curiosities.

Hosted by April Woodard, Sway Calloway and Katie Cook, MTV, BET and CMT joined together and hosted a live, hour-long special where the president spoke intimately to the audience.

Throughout the interview, youths asked questions regarding health care, college affordability and job opportunities as well as current concerns facing the population, both domestic and international.

Not only were audience members allowed to ask questions, but as the interview progressed, viewers from home were invited to tweet their questions as well as their biggest fears and dreams.

The tweets were monitored and split into different categories. As the conference continued, Obama answered one question from each of the top three categories.

The audience members and viewers at home held nothing back when it came to speaking their minds. One person tweeted that their biggest fear was Obama being elected again.

“Oh no,” Obama joked and then proceeded to answer the next question.

Obama talked about border control and rebuilding the economy. He even enlightened audience members with his plan for the “Dream Act,” to help illegal immigrant children gain an education and have the opportunity to stay in the United States by filing the correct paperwork to become legal citizens.

“For those young people, who didn’t break any laws, they didn’t have a choice when they came here, give them a chance by getting an education or serving in the military, having a series of standards that they have to meet in terms of showing good character,” Obama said. “And if they do that, then give them a pathway for finally getting their paperwork straight and being full-fledged citizens. It’s the right thing to do.”

One major focus of the interview was Obama’s overall plan to help students both before and after college with receiving financial aid and paying back loans after college.

“Part of the Recovery Act was to institute an American Opportunity Tax Credit that has benefited 12 million young people across the country,” Obama said. “It gives an enormous tax break to those of you who are going to college… We’ve set up a system that when you take on college debt, you will never have to pay more than 10 percent of your income in repayments … You will never be prevented from going to school just because of money.”