Support for President Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign was overwhelming on college campuses. But as another election season approaches, he may find himself with fewer votes from the demographic. Students are feeling the direct effects of the recession as tuition prices increase and the hopes of finding a job diminish.

Emily Bishop, a sophomore at Elon University, said she is frustrated that her generation will have to pay for the programs that Obama has been pushing through Congress.

"His spending and regulations are causing our deficit to explode," she said. "This has terrified business owners and they aren't hiring or expanding, so our generation is going to have to pay back on all these programs that he's enforcing, like Social Security and Medicare."

But Dion Farganis, an assistant political science professor at Elon, said the recession is not likely to be the primary reason Obama has less support from college students. Farganis suspects the voting turnout will be lower in 2012 because of a lack of enthusiasm.

"The 2008 election was a once-in-a-generation moment for college students, and I suspect many of them won't be motivated the same way in 2012," he said.

Various aspects of the country, including wars, the economy and partisanship affect students' opinions of the national government and play a large factor in how they vote. Nada Azem, an international student from Syria and a sophomore at Elon, said that how a president handles the country in a time of war affects her opinion of the government the most.

"Due to the Iraq war, Syria's prices went up like crazy," Azem said. "The United States has a lot of power in my area, so whether it is the support of Israel or a war in that area scares me. Sometimes, I don't understand why America puts itself in other countries' problems and they are miles and miles away. But also if America doesn't help, they get blamed."

Bishop's criticism of the government stems from the decisions being made regarding the economy.

"The biggest problem is that the president has been ignoring history," she said. "In the past, whenever the government spent more than 20 percent of the GDP, taxes rose and the economy tanked."

As Americans begin to waver in their support for Obama, the decisions he makes over the next year concerning pressing national issues will be crucial to whether he gets re-elected. About 38 percent of respondents said they would support Obama against a generic Republican candidate, according to a recent Gallup poll.

But all Americans have their own ways of deciding for whom to cast their votes.

"Studies generally show that people are most strongly influenced by the condition of the economy when voting for president," Farganis said. "I don't think that a president's personal qualities have as much to do with election results as things like the economy and other political issues."

Although Azem is still familiarizing herself with democracy, she has an opinion on what type of president she would like to see elected.

"I come from a country where we don't really elect," Azem said. "I find it very interesting how people have that option of choice. Since I am from the Middle East, I care about a president who will not make another war like Iraq. Sadly, we look at what benefits us personally versus what will help the world."

Like Azem, Bishop believes it is important to focus on the actions of a candidate rather than vote based on what he or she claims.

"You never want to listen to what politicians say, you want to look at what actions they have taken," she said. "Obama has sounded reasonable, but his actions are destroying the economy, and without a strong economy there's no strong country."