Back to School, Deeper in Debt

With millions of students going back to school and the student loan payment pause ending in a few months, it is vital that we keep up the pressure on the Biden Administration and our legislators to cancel student debt. Young people deserve a fair shot at an affordable and accessible education. Help young people live out their dreams, not live in debt. 

Paying for school is one of the largest stressors for students. While the United States has built financial aid systems like FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to lessen the financial burden, these systems fall short. About $1.7 trillion short.

Our current financial aid system for higher education is not working because it was not built for our generation.

A graphic with a photo of Amara next to a quote of her student debt story

Meet Amara, a student loan borrower and Program Director with Forward Montana. FAFSA did not account for Amara’s lived experiences and unique financial situation barring her from receiving financial aid and forcing her to work 60+ hours a week to afford school.

Tell us your student debt story here.

FAFSA, created over 50 years ago, does not account for students who have children, students who do not come from two-parent and double-income households, students who are responsible for supporting their families, and more.

Young people make up the largest, most diverse generation in our nation’s history. We deserve a financial aid system that reflects us.

Amara is one of many youth organizers in the Alliance Network who have been taking action to battle the student debt crisis. Virginia Student Power Network fought and won in-state tuition for undocumented students expanding financial aid access to an often under-resourced community. New Era Colorado passed the Student Loan Equity Act—a trailblazing bill that would create protections for private student loan borrowers in Colorado. The Ohio Student Association is currently working to end the “Transcript Trap”—the punitive practice of withholding transcripts for minor debts to the institution. Learn more about how Alliance Network organizations are building a debt-free future. Young people are showing up in their local communities to fight for students but it is not enough. We need federal action.

How you can take action

Whether you currently have student debt, paid it off, or never had it, student debt is an issue that affects everyone. And we are calling on our community to take action with us. Tell the Biden Administration that we need to cancel student debt, reform the student loan program, and make public colleges free for all. 

Once you sign the petition, please share on social!

Student debt affects our families, our loved ones, and our larger communities. It limits our ability to dream about building the future we deserve. Find more ways to take action with our Dreams Not Debt campaign here.