Opinion: Student loan forgiveness is a good thing

The Biden-Harris administration’s student debt relief plan continues to bounce in and out of courts across the country as critics question whether the program is “fair”. After taking a closer look at who is affected by this program and how it works, it is clear that the student debt relief program is an important step towards improving access to higher education and providing resources for low-income students.

Although the program appears to be an intuitively constructive resource, it has suffered major backlash. In September, after the executive order was announced, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming the executive order was “unconstitutional” and “fundamentally unfair.”

READ MORE: AG Mark Brnovich files lawsuit to block federal student loan forgiveness

On Thursday, a Texas federal judge overturned the pardon plan, writing in a 26-page opinion that it had failed to follow proper regulatory processes. The Biden administration can appeal the decision.

For some reason, it’s hard for some legislators to understand that they can help the generation after getting more resources and assistance than they had.

Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of the program’s staunch opponents and has called the plan “completely unfair” because she believes taxpayers will have to cover the costs of students who “have accrued massive debts to a league of ivy”. school.”

What these lawmakers don’t have in mind are the excessive costs for low-income students, even at public universities like ASU.

Gabi Campbell, a fourth-year nursing student and Pell Scholarship recipient, said she took out loans worth $26,000 even with financial aid and scholarships. The Biden administration’s debt relief package will help ease the stress that can come with taking out these loans.

“I was always nervous that when I graduated I would be working just to pay off my loans, but now I really don’t have that fear anymore,” Campbell said.

She also explained how the Loan Forgiveness Plan affects her differently as a Pell Grant recipient, as the plan gives more relief to students with more financial need. The Pell Scholarship provides assistance to undergraduate students with significant financial aid needs while they complete their first bachelor’s degree.

“I think it will be a good thing for students, and (I) hope college becomes more accessible to low-income students,” Campbell said.

As the cost of a four-year college education has tripled over the past 40 years, the maximum amount of Pell Grant values ​​has remained relatively the same since 1980. Higher education, in this sense, is becoming increasingly inaccessible to low-income students.

Loan forgiveness can help level the playing field so that higher education is not reserved for those who grew up wealthy.

Many other countries, including Canada, Sweden, England, and Germany, offer some form of debt relief and/or tuition-free university for all residents. Even in countries like France, where students pay tuition, costs are significantly lower than for American students, allowing many French students to graduate debt-free. It also brings people from different economic backgrounds to hold college degrees.

There is no downside to having a more educated and balanced population by maximizing the number of citizens able to pursue higher education. The student debt relief plan is an important first step in helping those who would like the opportunity to pursue higher education.

According to a CNBC report, more than 80% of student borrowers between the ages of 22 and 35 in the United States cite their student loans as the reason they haven’t bought a home yet.

On top of that, student loan debt can cause significant mental distress for years after college, leading to high numbers of suicidal ideation among borrowers. A 2021 survey indicated that one in 14 borrowers had had suicidal thoughts in response to student loan stress.

Student loan debt in the United States is a crisis that must be resolved. Biden-Harris administration’s student debt relief plan is a step in the right direction to prioritize education and students in the United States

As other countries have shown, universal college and loan forgiveness increase accessibility to higher education and relieve the economic stress of attending college. There is no reason to think that a positive change for some groups leads to negative consequences for others. The Debt Relief Program provides many students with resources that prove useful during their college years and for years to come.

Edited by Sadie Buggle, David Rodish, Kristen Apolline Castillo and Piper Hansen.


Contact the columnist at [email protected] and follow @wwoodengirl on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are those of the author and do not imply any endorsement by The State Press or its editors.

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