Biden’s loan relief plan paused

Josh Lehner, Staff Writer

A Texas federal judge struck down the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program last week, causing the U.S. Department of Education to no longer accept loan applications. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman’s ruling is a response to a lawsuit by the Job Creators Network Foundation, which alleged that the Biden administration violated certain procedures. Pittman’s ruling only further cripples Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which was already stalled by a different lawsuit according to the Washington Post. In August, President Joe Biden said that his administration would cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for individuals making less than $125,000; for Federal Pell Grant recipients, up to $20,000 was available. Over eight million loan forgiveness applications were

        Mark Pittman

submitted during a weekend-long beta period unveiled in early October.
Axios reported that the Biden administration is appealing Pittman’s ruling. A BestColleges survey found that 54% of students viewed loan forgiveness favorably, regardless of their loan status. The survey also found that 47% of millennial students and 34% of Gen Z students didn’t believe that loan forgiveness did enough to solve the student
debt crisis. When asked if they felt student loan forgiveness might positively impact them, 44%of surveyed students said they agreed, 32% said they neither agreed nor disagreed and 23% said they disagreed. In addition to softening student debt—which is about $1.75 trillion—Erin Grisham, UW Oshkosh’s vice chancellor for student affairs, said that student loan forgiveness could play a role for borrowers thinking of returning to school in the future. But in response to Pittman’s ruling last week, the Education Department was forced to no longer accept loan forgiveness applications. For borrowers who have already submitted their applications, “the [Department of Education] will hold onto their information so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said in the Washington Post. If student loan forgiveness resumes, UW Oshkosh’s interim Financial Aid Director Alison Casady said that her office provided informational sheets on eligibility and the steps students must take to submit an application. The Biden administration’s appeal of Pittman’s ruling now resides with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.