President Biden announces student loan forgiveness

The Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan and information. (Graphic by Catherine Eldridge | Collegian Media Group)

President Biden announced a three-part student loan forgiveness plan, fulfilling his 2020 campaign promise, according to a statement from the White House

The Department of Education aims to provide up to $10,000 in loan relief to borrowers with loans held by the Department of Education whose individual income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples). Those who received a Pell Grant could receive up to $20,000, according to the statement from the White House

Robert Gamez, director of Student Financial Assistance, said this plan specifically affects students who took out loans before June 30, 2022.

“If you are a student who is taking out any student loans for this current academic year, none of those loans will be eligible for cancellation,” Gamez said. “The loan has to have been dispersed by June 30 of 2022, so what this means is students who were here last year or earlier may be eligible to be forgiven.”

Gamez said the plan applies to both student loans and parent plus loans. 

“Some K-State parents have taken out parent plus loans and they may be eligible for forgiveness,” Gamez said. “What is driving it is going to be what the income is for that family. Whether that be an independent student or parent whose income is less than $125,000, or if it is a married situation then the income must be less than $250,000 to receive up to $10,000 worth of loan forgiveness.”

Gamez said he approves of the plan and is optimistic about students receiving help.

“Generally speaking I think this is a good thing for our students,” Gamez said. “I think the pandemic did really affect some of our students to their detriment. So I am hopeful that this will provide relief to our students, especially our pell grant students as well as our middle-class income students.”

Will Bannister, junior in finance and economics, said he supports the plan based on its long-term benefit for the country.

“The debt from people who have student loans is majorly holding back the economy and makes everyone’s lives harder,” Bannister said. “It means that people postpone having kids, they can’t buy houses and can’t save and invest.”

Bannister said everyone, whether they need loan forgiveness or not, should support this plan.

“Even if you are someone with no student loans you should be in support of this,” Bannister said. “If other people have a financial burden on them then they won’t be able to contribute to the economy in a way that helps grow it.”

Adrien McFarland, junior in political science, said she does not agree with Biden’s plan.

“I do not agree with it. Yes, the financial implications of student loan debt forgiveness are appalling, but the principle of it is inherently immoral,” McFarland said. “Do not steal from others to solve the ramifications of your financial decisions.”

Gamez said he encourages all students to keep themselves updated as information is released.

“The Department of Education is allowing people to be notified about information updates,” Gamez said. “Financial aid administrators like myself and my colleagues here in Kansas and across the nation, we all have a lot of questions because we do not know all the details yet. What we do know is there are going to be millions of borrowers who benefit from this.”

To find resources and more information visit the official federal student aid website. To be notified about further updates sign up at The U.S Department of Education website.