The status of student debt relief

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Ali Fernand Feature Editor

Financial relief is on the way for some students. Between COVID-19 and rising college prices, students will be offered the opportunity to get up to $20,000 in federal debt forgiven.

“There is a student debt crisis, so there are more and more students taking out more and more loans to pay for their education,” said Student Government Association President Kyle Thaxton.

Connecticut students are seeing the price of tuition increase every year. The state government pays public schools less and less. To compensate for this, institutions have raised the price for students who attend. Apart from tuition, there are other needs such as textbooks, fees, and rising cost of living. Those who cannot house and eat might feel left out of the college experience.

President Joe Biden’s plan is to forgive those who owe the federal government loans. Students who have loans from private providers are not eligible for the federal discount.

“For students, it’s up to $20,000 if you have federal loans and a Pell grant. It’s up to $10,000 for students with federal loans and no Pell grants,” said Director of Financial Literacy and Counseling Lew Deluca.

These settings provide relief to those who need it most. Students who receive the Pell Scholarship have more financial need, so they can receive more money. Those who don’t qualify for the Pell Grant can receive up to $10,000 if they have a single parent earning less than $125,000 or married parents earning a joint income of less than $250,000.

The forgiven debt must also come from the debt the students currently have. New students and those who will attend the school in the future will not be able to ask for forgiveness from now on.

Some legislative measures have already been adopted concerning student debt. Loan repayments and interest were suspended in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“Normally what would have happened until the pandemic was that your unsubsidized loans would have added interest,” Deluca said.

Those experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic were able to delay repayment of their loans. This included those who were in school and those who were no longer in school. No application was required; payments were frozen automatically.

“I think one of the main reasons he passed the bill was because it was something the American people needed,” said Student Democrat Vice President Nate Gross.

Many members of the Democratic Party have been paying attention to advancing the agenda Biden originally set during his 2020 campaign. The midterm election is approaching in November. It made the success of Biden’s program a topic of conversation.

“I know there’s been a lot of pressure on him to pass a bill like the Democratic Party’s,” Gross said.

Democrats who lean more left have pressured Biden to keep his promise. They want a bill like this passed to help them in their campaign efforts. President Biden’s debt relief bill has created controversy, creating a range of opinions.

“Some people are happy with it, some aren’t, some think it’s a bad idea,” Thaxton said.

Those on the right believe that their tax money should not be used to pay other people’s debts. These people believe that this bill is unconstitutional and unfair to those whose families earn too much to qualify for debt relief.

According to Politico Nov. 10, a federal judge in Texas is challenging the bill. This puts him in danger of being completely dumped. How this bill is challenged or passed in other courts could change the trajectory of students and voters.

“I think it will give a lot of optimism and hopefully inspire more students to get involved in politics,” Gross said.

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