“Ohio students can trust Sherrod to stand with us.”

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“Ohio students can trust Sherrod to stand with us.”

It’s no secret that the cost of college (and the massive debt that often follows) can have life-changing consequences for families in Ohio and beyond.

Sherrod has fought hard to put higher education within reach for anyone who wants to attend college—not just those who can afford it. He’s led efforts to expand access to federal student aid. He’s stood up to predatory lenders and so-called “for-profit” schools. And he’s pushed to make college campuses safer by addressing sexual assault and gun violence.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Congressman Jim Renacci, has consistently put corporate profits ahead of students’ well-being, catering to Wall Street, wealthy donors, and for-profit school executives. He has also remained silent on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and this administration’s efforts to weaken protections for sexual assault survivors, and to make it easier for shady predatory lenders to take advantage of borrowers.

At events at the University of Cincinnati and Kent State University this week, students and elected officials emphasized who’s looking out for Ohio students—and who is not.

“None of us—whether we receive federal student loans, get grants from our school, or pay full tuition—deserve a Senator who puts special interests ahead of students,” Xavier College Democrats President Sam Peters said. “Senator Sherrod Brown understands that it’s the government’s job to give people a hand when they need it. Ohio students can trust him to stand with us.”

Attendees at both events focused on the large role student debt has played in their own experiences, and why it’s so important to have a Senator fighting to make college more accessible.

For Kent State College Democrats President Maddie Newingham, being a triplet (and one of five kids, total), made college affordability an issue in her family.

“I wouldn’t be here without financial aid, scholarships, and many student loans,” she said. “Two-thirds of us graduate with student loan debt—it’s very common to be paying back student loans into your 40s and 50s. It’s mind-boggling to me that Jim Renacci would support the continuity of this.”

As Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld put it, “Senator Sherrod Brown is working to make sure that loans aren’t insurmountable obstacles, that students aren’t defined by how much they owe. While Sherrod has worked to make sure students can earn a degree and graduate with peace of mind, his opponent has taken nearly every opportunity to put that goal further out of reach.”