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Utah Politics
10:27 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Matheson and Love Spar for College Votes

With the November election 10 weeks away, the criticism going back and forth between six-term Congressman Jim Matheson and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love is heating up.  On Tuesday, Utah’s only Democrat in Congress held a press conference to address what he says is a key difference in between the two: access to financial aid for college students.

“College costs have grown at a very fast rate and quite frankly the student aide hasn’t kept up. This is not the time to make it even harder for kids to go to college.”

Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson delivered that message on Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College. He says access to financial aid is vital for more than 240,000 Utah students, but argues that his opponent, Mia Love disagrees.

“The position she’s taken that we should get rid of all federal financial aid that would be a disaster for Utah students trying to improve themselves. invest themselves. More than 3/4 of all Utah college students use some form of federal financial aid.”

Proof of Utah students’ need for financial aid could be seen just a few feet from where Matheson’s press conference was held; where the line was out the door to get inside the financial aid office. Jesse Feller was one of those in line. He says he is studying to become a welder. Right now he works and takes classes but says without financial aid school wouldn’t be an option.

“If you didn’t make $50,000 last year then it’s probably pretty hard to come up with the funds to go to school.”

Matheson’s presentation at Salt Lake Community College took place the same day as Mia Love’s speech at the Republican National convention in Tampa. Her campaign spokesman Brain Somers says Love has offered up the suggestion of getting rid of financial aid as a way of eliminating a portion of the federal deficit.

“Mayor Love believes that in a time that we’re borrowing forty cents on every dollar we need to start looking forward to solutions to the federal budget problem. And the proposal that she put out is just that, it’s a discussion point, it’s a list of things that we should start looking at on the federal level in order to get our budget situation under control.”

Somers says Love wants to lower tuition prices so that loans are not the solution.

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