Student loans: Forgiveness to be determined

By Leonardo Cervantes and Beatriz Garay

Close to 26 million Americans have applied for student loan forgiveness, and the Biden administration has already approved 16 million of the requests, the White House said. 

This number needs to continue to rise. However, the plan is uncertain as there has been an unwillingness to approve student loan forgiveness. 

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in the state of Texas has blocked U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive thousands of dollars in student debt. 

Pittman called the program an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power that must be vacated. 

Student loan forgiveness has always been a talking point and has continued to garner national pressure over the last few years. 

It has become necessary for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to use student loans to cover the expenses of going to a four-year institution. 

However, the prospect of insurmountable debt after graduation discourages many low-income students from pursuing higher education.

According to the National Association of Realtors, “Only 23% of borrowers in a 2021 NAR survey said they understood the costs of attending college before going into debt.”

People with student debt are less likely to be doing well financially and will find ways to compensate. This leads some individuals to take out separate loans to help pay off their student debt. 

According to the Center for Microeconomic Data, “Student loan debt is the largest non-housing category of debt in the U.S.” 

Pittman’s action sends a clear message to many prospective students who want a higher form of education: students will have to continue paying off the debt themselves no matter how long it takes them or how little they earn. 

One of the common arguments against student debt forgiveness is prior generations not being afforded similar avenues to erase their debt. 

That mindstate is so backward thinking. 

That thought process is rooted in bitterness and doesn’t further improve the current and upcoming generations. 

Some of our elected leaders, particularly Republicans, share this view. 

They view plausible solutions for working class Americans as handouts rather than necessary and earned. 

This is what the Republican party’s belief system is built on. 

Essentially, just because previous generations have struggled, they want every generation after to continue struggling. 

Upcoming generations should always find ways to improve instead of following the same same system that is broken and exploits people.

It’s no secret that people of color are affected more by student loan debt. 

“Black and African-American college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates,” according to the Education Data Initiative. 

The current system set in place will continue to take advantage of those students that are less fortunate.

Going to a university to acquire a degree is essential for a career that can not only lift an individual from poverty, but also their families. 

However, student loans make this less possible.

Over 50% of Black student borrowers report their net worth is less than they owe in student loan debt.

Education data states 40% of Black graduates have student loan debt from graduate school, while 22% of white college graduates have graduate school debt. 

67% of Hispanic and Latino student borrowers have educational debt.

While student plan forgiveness is a major obstacle to overcome, Biden’s administration has made it clear that their program has been carefully structured to handle the cancellation of student debt. 

In order to see college attendance rise, government officials must follow through with the Biden administration’s plan. 

It would lessen the weight of crushing student loan debt. 

The halt on student loan forgiveness applications needs to be lifted.

The White House confirmed that it has already appealed Pittman’s decision. 

The decision now goes to a federal appeals court and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

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