Press Play on Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness at the school


Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash

According to Education Data, the federal loan balance is $1.635 trillion, and 92.4% of it is student loan debt. On Aug. 24, 2022, the Biden Administration announced its student loan forgiveness plan. The plan would offer $10,000 in relief to low and middle-class students (less than $125,000 income) and $20,000 to Pell Grant recipients. According to Investopedia, only a month later, six states filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration as they believed the plan was against the Administrative Procedure Act.

The loan forgiveness was paused on Nov. 22, 2022, and extended to June 2023 while the court discusses it. While many applied for forgiveness and received notifications of approval before the pause, they have yet to receive any loan forgiveness. 

“I think that [the pause] is stupid,” senior Tsion Sahle said. “The Student Loan Forgiveness Act would have helped a lot of people who are in debt and living with that for years.” 

The six states Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina, believed Biden’s plan was a violation of the separation of powers and the Administrative Procedure Act, which controls how federal agencies make decisions according to the EPA.

“I feel like that [pause] puts a lot of people at a disadvantage,” senior Ester Nasi said. “Especially people who are already at a disadvantage financially, to begin with.” 

According to the White House, one-third of student loan borrowers have debt but no degree. This affects more Black borrowers than others, as Black students who went to college in 1995-96 still owe 95% compared to their original student debt.

“I don’t understand that it’s against the constitution because it’s helping people get an education and helping people pursue careers that would help them,” Nasi said.

On Nov. 10, 2022, a federal court called for a nationwide order that temporarily paused relief. While the Biden Administration has been trying to appeal and reverse many of the states’ rulings, federal courts have denied his request, according to Investopedia.

“I would ask [the courts] to envision going through this stuff and like how it could affect their lives,” Sahle said.

On Dec. 1, 2022, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Biden Administration case to reverse appeals in February. As of Feb. 17, 2023, the pause will be held up until the end of June while many await their relief.

“I think for people like me who can’t necessarily afford college,” senior Toromo Funsho said. “It’s very helpful because I wouldn’t have to struggle and put a burden on my parents and family members.”

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