Your Vote Matters

Look past the yelling matches to the facts about each candidate and where they stand on issues that are important to you, such as your education. When you do, you'll see: your vote (or your parents' vote) matters.

We are in the middle of quite the tumultuous political season. The whole thing may bore you to tears. Or it may fill you loathing. But I urge to look past the yelling matches and TV ads and scandals to the facts about each candidate and where they stand on issues that are important to you, such as your education. When you do, you’ll see: your vote (or your parents’ vote) matters.

When it comes to the presidential election, for example, democrat Hillary Clinton recently unveiled a proposal to ensure that any American student can go to a public college and pay for tuition without any student debt. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders would take the proposal one step further and make all public colleges and universities free. Some of the other presidential candidates would shift money from public schools to charter schools through a voucher program. Republican candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump have all supported similar measures in the past.

But while national politics are big and exciting, the real difference often come sat the local level in the people you vote for in your school board. How many new teachers will be hired this year, whether you finally get new textbooks or laptops, what school in the county gets the most funding: it’s all decided by the school board.

The largest impact votes will have is in setting the curriculum, which may not seem as important to you as a 17- or 18-year-old about to graduate high school. But your parents’ vote will certainly matter. And if you are old enough to vote, you’ll be playing an important part in deciding the future of education in your state and in the country. Some of the presidential candidates support Common Core (a curriculum developed by a collection of governors from various states that was encouraged by the Obama administration with grant money), and some do not. Forty-five states initially chose to adopt the curriculum, but a number of states are pausing their implementation or opting out altogether. Although the National Education Association reported in 2013 that 76% of teachers support Common Core, it has drawn harsh criticism from both the left and right of the political spectrum. Much of the criticism comes from the added emphasis on standardized testing. But the unifying factor is that who you (or your parents) vote for matters a lot.

I hope by now you are getting the point: voting matters in a big way to you as a student. Really dig into the candidates (you can compare your views to the candidates at multiple websites, such as and find the ones you agree with and then cast your ballot. Because if you care about what you’re learning, the tools you’re learning with, and how you’re going to pay for college, then who you (and your parents) vote for matters.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Ari Sen

Rising senior at West Henderson High School in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Web Editor-in-Chief of Wingspan Online (@westwingspan). I enjoy swimming competitively, photography, reading, travel, eating great food, and watching great TV. Follow me on Twitter @ArijitDSen and on Instagram @as9934.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Jessica Rinker

Jessica Rinker

Student, Fairhaven High School; CollegeXpress Student Writer

My high school counselor introduced me to CollegeXpress freshman year. It has made such a difference in high school, and I plan to continue relying on it in college. CollegeXpress is my go-to because it addresses each aspect of being a student. There are the articles you’d expect regarding college applications and financial aid, but you will also find advice on things like de-stressing and maintaining relationships while balancing a heavy course load. CollegeXpress will also keep you updated on current scholarships through e-mails each Saturday. (They don’t harass you with any product promotion like so many other sites do.) CollegeXpress is a lot like an older sibling who has already conquered the challenges you are facing. Now, they are reaching out a helpful hand. I say take it.

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Tinuola Dada

Tinuola Dada

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2015

I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica and Albany, NY