I am what millions of Americans are becoming today in light of our economy: I am a non-traditional student. I attend Buena Vista University through the accelerated professional program, and am working toward my bachelor’s in both psychology and human services, with minors in sociology, education and client delivered services.

I am a married mom of four children, and I work more than 45 hours a week as a child care provider, specializing in children with behavioral disorders. I am also a volunteer CASA for the juvenile court system, a 4H leader and a certified reading circle instructor.

Federal loans, grants and school scholarships have made my dream a possibility, as well as allowed me to plan a better future for my children. In order to cover the cost of my tuition and books, I have had both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, along with grants. It is imperative to keep our student loan amounts at the current dividends and not subtract them to balance the state budget.

It is statistically proven that children who have parents who have graduated from college have a better chance of attending and graduating themselves. This alone is an example of what cutting loan budgets can do– the effects will be felt for generations, which, in turn, hurts us all. I plead with our representatives to listen to the public and realize that cutting education not only hurts our students now, but our future ones as well.

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