CSU, News

Student Debt Relief Program still on hold

A federal judge in Texas has struck down the Biden Administrations Student Loan Forgiveness Program on Thursday.

A Conservative group known as the Job Creator Network Foundation, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two individuals who did not qualify for debt relief.

Republican Texas Judge Mark Pittman, the judge who struck down the program, believes that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to execute the aforementioned debt relief plan.

In the case brought against the student relief program, the two plaintiffs who had difficulties with it criticized its lack of a comment and appeal option.

The Justice Department has already made it clear that they would appeal this ruling, in order to help the 26 million who have already applied and 16 million of those who have already been approved for the program. Currently the program is not accepting any new applications, but If a student has already applied the U.S Department of education will hold onto the application but cannot move forward on it.

“Because of how expensive it [college] is, most people choose not to go to it because they don’t want to end up in a whole bunch of debt,” said Alex Hernandez, a freshman engineering student. “It’s a good step forward to, like, level the playing fields for usually disadvantaged students.”

The three part plan is intended to forgive loans of up to $20,000.

Step one includes extending the student payment pause until Jan 2023. Secondly, they’d allow borrowers to apply to have their debt forgiven or towards smaller debt amounts.

Those that are eligible for debt relief must have an annual income of either below $125,000 for individuals, or $250,000 for married couples and heads of households.

Lastly, the Biden-Harris Administration would create a rule based on an income driven repayment plan; reducing monthly payments for lower and middle income debtors.

The specifics of the plan can be found in more detail, on the Federal Student Aid Website.

Although President Biden had announced his student debt relief plan in August, he made college debt relief a talking point during his 2020 presidential campaign.

This was one of the many talking points aimed at a younger voting group, sitting alongside climate change, reproductive rights and healthcare.

Some Beach students have their reservations about this plan, and wonder if it was always meant to fail in some capacity.

“I feel like he [Biden] doesn’t really follow through with that many promises like he doesn’t seem, like, crazy active or invested,” said Hillary Lacanilao, a third-year psychology major.

As reported on by CollegeFactual, 31% of incoming Beach students take out loans, averaging around $5,000 per person. Thirty percent of all undergraduate students use federal student loans to pay for their college education, around $6,000 per year. The site reports that two years of loans are estimated to be about $12,000, and $24,000 after the full four years.

While the future of the student debt relief program is up in the air, it’s clear that the Biden Administration will continue to campaign for it.

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