Student debt is once again proving to be a hot-button issue for young people in this country. This week the US Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Biden’s blocked federal student loan forgiveness plan.
If you’re just now catching up on the latest in federal student debt forgiveness, here’s a quick refresher on what’s happening:
- On Wednesday, August 24th, 2022, President Biden announced his plans for canceling student debt. The program included $20,000 of federal student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for non-recipients.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (led by six Republican-led states) has issued an injunction that is currently blocking the student loan forgiveness program from being carried out. Many applicants who have already been approved still have yet to see a dollar of forgiveness through Biden’s plan.
- In response to this injunction, the student loan payment pause will extend until the U.S. Department of Education is permitted to implement the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved–payments will restart 60 days later. Suppose the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30th. In that case, payments will resume 60 days after that.
People’s Rally for Student Debt Cancellation
On Tuesday, February 28th, hundreds of student debt activists from across the country gathered outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The Alliance team joined around 30 students from Ohio Student Association at the Supreme Court to rally in support of Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20K in federal student loan debt.
Check out highlights from the rally on the Alliance Twitter!
While we continue fighting for debt relief, we must remember the real stories of individuals behind the $1.7 trillion of student loan debt held by borrowers in this country.
We spoke with two student organizers with Ohio Student Association at the rally in front of the Supreme Court to understand what debt relief would mean to them. Hear what they had to say over on the Alliance Instagram.
Student Debt Work in the Alliance Network
Student loan borrowers hold $1.7 trillion in student loan debt in this country. This is a student debt crisis. While we continue fighting for debt relief, we must remember that the fight does not end here. We need a massive reset and sweeping reform to ensure our young people are not buried under unconquerable debt that holds them back simply because they chose to seek higher education. This means transforming the student loan program to mitigate future student debt and making public colleges and universities free and accessible to all students.
Advocating for education debt relief has been a pillar of Alliance Affiliate, Ohio Student Association’s work since day one. Some of their recent efforts include a roundtable with Sherrod Brown where members shared their student debt stories, and traveling to DC to take on roles in the “Pick Up the Pen, Joe!” protest in the spring of 2022!
In addition to their work around debt relief, OSA has been advocating to help build a vehicle for people impacted by the crumbling public education system so they can get the power to transform that system to fit their needs. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they petitioned and won a refund of housing and meal plan costs for the Spring 2020 semester for their Central State University chapter and an extra $1,000 from the CARES Act. Some of their other education work includes working with Honesty for Ohio Education to hold testimony workshops that empower young people to advocate for a fair and honest presentation of history and concepts in school in the state legislature.
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