Watch on whitehouse.tumblr.com

President Obama is answering your questions on education and college affordability in his first-ever Tumblr Q&A today.

Tune in right here at 4 p.m. ET, and make sure to follow us @whitehouse.

Maybe you’ve just started to pursue a higher education. Maybe you’ve spent your adult life paying off debt from school. Either way, you’ve probably got questions about why college costs so much, what can be done about it, and if it’s even worth doing in the first place.

You should ask those questions to the President of the United States.

On Tuesday, June 10, our Founder/CEO, David, will head down to Washington to host a live conversation about education with President Obama. David will ask your questions. The President will answer them, out of his mouth, in front of the world.

(The White House will also be picking out a few question-askers to join us in person. If having the President’s ear isn’t enough, maybe standing on his carpet is.)

Submit your questions by midnight on Sunday, June 8. Then tune in to the White House Tumblr on Tuesday, June 10. See you in DC!

Kicking it off with a little humor
  • David Karp:Thank you, Mr. President, for inviting Tumblr to your house.
  • President Obama:Well, it's a rental house.

Above: Backstage at the White House before the Q&A went live. 

#ObamaIRL: A presidential Tumblr Q&A

Today President Obama sat down with David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, for a Q&A on education and the state of student loan debt in America. The questions themselves came from the Tumblr community; several notable Tumblr bloggers- like ilovecharts and jtotheizzoe- were asked to help curate and choose the best ones for the president to answer, and it was all streamed live on Tumblr this afternoon. 

We took a quick look at Tumblr activity around the @obamaIRL event, which has seen huge amount of engagement so far (nobody gets reblogged like the president, after all!). In the past week, there have been more than 1500 #obamaIRL posts receiving 276,000 notes from more than 259,000 unique Tumblr users. The @whitehouse’s top post about the event has already received more than 233k notes in just 24 hours!

Social media isn’t just the entertainment of the Kids Today; social platforms are powerful tools that can be used to engage and connect with the public on a level and in a way never seen before. 

(Gif source: x

To paraphrase one American state university in particular, what starts here can change the world. 


Behind the scenes of that thing that happened. This is the last post we’ll make about it, we swear. Now go and have a good weekend. Drink something out of a coconut.

People ask me what I’m proudest of and what are my biggest frustrations as President. My biggest frustration is that this society hasn’t been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do damage. We’re the only developed country where this happens. And it happens weekly. Our levels of gun violence are off the charts.
—  President Obama sharing the difficulties of trying to change a culture in which school shootings are commonplace.
Ultimately, you are going to do best at something you care deeply for. But you still have to grind it out. You can get into the mindset where the effort and sweat you put in doesn’t feel like a burden. Your career isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes you have to take a job to pay the bills. And sometimes you take a big risk, like building something called Tumblr.
—  President Obama to David Karp, on following your dreams

Hi Guys!

Today, I’m headed down to the White House to participate in the live Q&A the President will be doing with Tumblr about the importance of making college more affordable for current students, graduates and their families and the new executive actions he announced on Monday to ease the burden of college debt for millions of Americans.

David Karp will be interviewing the the President, using questions from the Tumblr community. The event will stream live today at 4pm ET on the White House Tumblr.

Above are some of the charts from a newly released White House report which show … pretty much what I’m sure you all already know. The current system is, shall we say, imperfect. There is a lot of work to be done. Hopefully, today is illuminating and gives us reason to be optimistic. 

I’ll post any other charts I come across here, document the trip on my personal Tumblr (so as not to spam those who are uninterested with non-charty content here) and will be live-Tweeting the event and attendant mischief at /ilovecharts. I’ll see you there!

Hugs and hand-pounds,

You guys are fed a lot of cynicism every day, but this country has always been built both through individual initiative and a sense of common purpose.

Don’t get cynical. Guard against cynicism. The truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to choose any time in human history to be born, you’d choose this time.

Terrible things happen around the world every single day, but the trend lines of progress are unmistakable.

—  President Obama during the Tumblr Q&A.

Honored to deliver this question from Nick:

Mr. President, my name is Nick Dineen and I attend school at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I was the Resident Assistant for the floor that George Chen lived on last year as a first year college student. I knew him. Elliot Rodger killed him and 5 more of my fellow students. Today, another man has shot and killed at least one person and injured three others at a private christian school in Seattle. What are you going to do? What can we all do?

Guard against cynicism. The truth of the matter is, for all of the problems we face, if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is more tolerant than it’s ever been, more educated than it’s ever been. The only thing that stops that is people thinking they can’t make any change.

President Obama

Keep up the hope, kiddos.